When it comes to determining what constitutes a disability and when a person is considered disabled according to Social Security rules, laws and regulations there is no one answer. For the purposes of the Social Security Administration the individual must:
* Have a physical or mental disability
* Unable to undertake any gainful activity
* Be impaired or expected to be impaired for at least 12 months
For the purposes of determining Social Security disability in Missouri, the individual must be incapable of doing any substantial work. This definition is tied to earnings, currently the cap on monthly earnings is $1,090 however, there are additional tests that a self employed applicant must undergo.
When the initial application is made the applicant cannot be earning more than the stipulated amount. Anyone earning more will be denied benefits outright, their application will not even be reviewed. Applicants can work part time when the initial application is made just as long as they do not exceed the salary cap.
To qualify for Social Security disability in Missouri the applicant must provide medical records that prove that the person is disabled and how the disability keeps him or her from working. The evidence must be recent; doctor’s reports and the results of lab tests must not be any older than 90 days.
If the Administration can determine from your application that your disability is severe and it is an impairment listed in the “blue book,” approval for benefits will be automatic. If the condition is not considered severe the Administration will normally deny the application.
Assessment of the applicant’s capacity to work:
If the impairment that is claimed is physical in nature, SSA will decide if it is possible for the individual to do any work at all by considering functional limitations that are included in the medical records. If the applicant is suffering a mental impairment the SSA will assess the mental capacity of the person; can the person understand and follow instructions, interact with others, maintain focus, etc.
As the criteria for Social Security disability in Missouri is strict it is often best to consult with a seasoned Social Security attorney. You are welcome to contact the Grundy Disability Group.