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What Are Some Medical Sources That Are Used To Prove A Disability?

There are regulations on what can and cannot be used for medical evidence. Therefore the records that would be acceptable would be licensed physicians, they can be medical or osteopathic doctors, licensed or certified psychologists; that actually includes school psychologists and other individuals that are licensed or certified to perform the same function as school psychologists; licensed optometrists, licensed podiatrists and qualified speech language pathologists are a few sources.

If Someone’s Doctor Says They Are Disabled, Do They Automatically Qualify For Benefits?

No, it does not! That is a big misconception. Just because a doctor says you are disabled, that is a legal determination, not necessarily a medical determination. It is based on medical records but the Social Security Administration and eventually if you get to a hearing, the judge, is the one that makes a determination if those medical records are enough evidence to warrant that you meet the disability guidelines under the social security rules and regulations. It is helpful if the doctor says you are disabled but you have to meet certain requirements, they cannot just say you are disabled and you are.

When Do Disability Benefits End?

Full retirement age, which is social security retirement, is actually between the ages of sixty-five and sixty-seven now, depending on when you were born. The DIB benefits or the Title II benefits would automatically transfer to retirement benefits, again depending on when you were born. For an example, if you were born in 1960 or after, the date for full retirement benefits is age sixty-seven. If you were born from 1943 to 1954, the age is sixty-six and for the years in between that, it is sixty-six and two months, sixty-six and four months, so it depends on when you were born, but those benefits do automatically change to retirement benefits based on that scale and you do not have to do anything for them to change.

Does Someone Need Multiple Doctors’ Opinions Or Diagnoses In Order To Prove “Disability?”

No, not necessarily! It depends on what the disability is. If you are going for one single disability, say somebody has had a back surgery, a herniated disk and had to have a fusion but does not have anything else wrong with them, then you would really most likely be looking to an orthopedic surgeon to be able to fill out some forms and indicate whether they made a listing and present that evidence. If you are going for what we call a combination of impairments, meaning I have had a back injury and I also have depression, then we would be seeking medical records and forms potentially from both the orthopedic or neurologist or neurosurgeon as well as a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

Can I Still Receive Disability Benefits If I Have Been Unemployed For Many Years?

For SSI or Title XVI, yes, if you meet the financial requirements. That is a need based system. You have to basically not have income or that income will be offset and you cannot have resources in excess of $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 as a couple. For SSD or Title II, you have to have worked five out of the last ten years prior to the onset date of a disability that you have been able to prove. If for example, in 2016, I want to say that I have been disabled since 2015, I have to have worked for five years out of the last ten prior to 2015, so 2005 to 2015, I would have to have five years of work. If I am filing for disability, now in 2016, but I can prove that my disability actually went back to 2010 and I worked five years from 2000 to 2010, then that would also qualify me. So, it really depends on onset of disability.

Can A Non-US Citizen Qualify For Disability Benefits?

Yes, if they are qualified aliens. There are specific rules and regulations for that. You have to meet those conditions to qualify to get SSI. You have to be lawfully admitted for permanent residence or you have to be granted conditional entry under certain regulations, you can be paroled into the U.S. under Section 212, you could be a refugee admitted to the U.S. under Section 207, or you could be granted asylum under Section 208. You could be a Cuban or Haitian entrant as defined in Section 501, so there are certain things that you would have to qualify for that to be what they call a qualified alien.

If you qualify as an alien and you were receiving SSI and lawfully residing in the U.S. on August 22, 1996 and you are a lawful alien with forty qualifying quarters of coverage, you could be qualified for SSI benefits as well. There are also some provisions that if you are currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or you were lawfully residing in the U.S. August 22nd, 1996 and you were blind or disabled. You can qualify but you can only receive SSI benefits for a maximum of seven years from the date you were granted the immigration status.

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