How Do I Know if My Disability is Permanent and Total?

Disability benefits vary based on how long your disability is expected to last and whether you are totally or only partially disabled. Because disabilities can be very subjective, many people are unsure whether their condition is considered permanent and total.

To determine whether your condition qualifies as a permanent and total disability, we must look at guidelines established by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The status of your disability is often evaluated against a five-question test regarding your ability to work and the nature of your diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with a medical condition on the SSA’s list of disabilities and cannot work at all, your condition might be considered permanent and total. If your condition is not on the list of conditions that the SSA considers disabilities, do not worry. We can work to prove that your medical condition is a disability, even if it is not on the current approved list. To help prove this, we need details about your medical condition and history, as well as information about your ability to work.

Call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 515-2954 to get a free, private evaluation of your case from our disability lawyers.

Determining Whether Your Disability is Permanent and Total for Disability Benefits

Determining whether someone’s medical condition qualifies as a disability for SSDI or other benefits is not a simple task. Medical conditions and disabilities tend to be somewhat subjective. What might be totally disabling for some might only be partially disabling for others. So, how does the SSA define what a disability is?

The SSA uses a five-question test to help evaluate the disability status of people applying for disability benefits. First, are you currently working? If you answer yes, there is a strong chance you are not considered disabled by the SSA. If you are considered disabled, you are unlikely to be considered totally disabled if you can work.

Second, is your condition severe? To be considered permanently and totally disabled, you usually need a severe medical condition that prevents you from working. To answer this question, our disability attorneys need to explain how your medical condition inhibits your ability to work. This might involve significant pain, mobility issues, cognitive impairments, and other severe conditions that prevent you from working.

Third, is your condition included in the SSA’s list of disabling conditions? If it is, you might have an easier time getting benefits. The SSA already assumes that conditions on this list are disabling. Even If your condition is not on the list, you might not be automatically precluded from benefits. Your condition might still be considered severe, but we must show some proof.

Fourth, can you do work you were able to do before the condition arose? If you are still able to do the work you could do before you became injured, the SSA might not consider you disabled. Even if you can still do some work but not to the same extent as before your injuries, you might not be considered totally disabled, only partially.

Fifth and finally, can you do other kinds of work? If you can do any other kind of work, you might not be deemed totally disabled. If you cannot work at all, you might qualify for permanent and total disability benefits.

What if My Condition is Not on the SSA’s List of Disabilities?

As discussed before, the SSA maintains a list of medical conditions and diagnoses considered disabilities for the purpose of getting disability benefits, like SSDI. If your condition is already on the list, we might have an easier time getting benefits, as the SSA already considers it disabling. If your condition is not on the list, you might still be eligible for benefits, but we might have to take extra steps to prove that your condition is severe and prevents you from working.

We have to consider your diagnosis from a doctor and your ability to work to determine if your condition should be considered permanent and total. Even if your condition prevents you from doing any work, but your doctor says that it will eventually heal, you might not be eligible for permanent and total benefits. Instead, you might qualify for temporary total incapacity benefits.

Why is it Important to Know Whether My Disability is Total and Permanent or Not?

There are different levels of benefits based on a person’s condition and ability to work. People whose conditions are considered total and permanent disabilities may be eligible for the highest level of benefits offered through SSDI. Benefits for permanent and total disabilities last indefinitely, whereas disabilities that are temporary or still allow you to work to a lesser extent must terminate at some point.

Many people find themselves on the line between what is considered permanent and temporary. An initial diagnosis might indicate that your injuries will eventually heal and that you are not permanently incapacitated from working. Later, your condition might change, and your disabilities might never fully recover, and you might never work again.

What Do I Need to Prove My Disability is Total and Permanent?

We need information about your medical and work histories when preparing your case. Medical information should come from the doctors treating your condition. We might need copies of your official medical records and letters from your doctors explaining your diagnosis. This is especially important if your medical condition is not on the list of approved conditions by the SSA.

Next, we need information about your work history. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you need a history of working and paying into the Social Security system. What kind of work were you doing before, and for how long? Can you still work in some capacity? If you cannot work at all, we need to be prepared to explain this.

Call Our Disability Attorneys for Help Today

Call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 515-2954 to get a free, private evaluation of your case from our Allentown, PA disability lawyers.

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