At Disability Attorneys of Arizona, we regularly help individuals with more than one illness or injury obtain disability benefits. When one illness is not limiting enough alone to qualify you for benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is required to consider the combined effect of major and minor illnesses when evaluating your disability claim. In spite of this requirement, the majority of initial benefits claims are denied.
This is where our experienced disability lawyers can help. We have a proven history of helping our clients obtain the benefits they deserve. When you consult with us, we will work to show how your combined illnesses prevent you from working and fight for your rights. Please contact our office today so we can get to work on your disability claim.
How does Social Security evaluate the combined effects of medical illnesses or impairments for disability benefits?
Social Security relies on a 5-step process to evaluate disability claims. The first step involves determining whether you can perform any substantial gainful activity. If you have monthly earnings over a certain amount (adjusted annually), your claim will likely be denied.
If you are not able to work (engage in substantial gainful activity), your claim will proceed to the next step. Social Security will rely on the medical evidence submitted with your claim to determine whether your impairment or combination of impairments, is severe. The evidence must show that you have been receiving consistent treatment for your medical conditions.
A medical condition is considered severe if it prevents you from performing work-related physical and mental tasks, including:
- Following directions
- Interacting with coworkers/supervisors
If each of your medical conditions is not severe enough to qualify, you may still be eligible if the combination of those impairments substantially limits a work-related activity. As an example, if you have sleep anea and hypertension, the combination of these conditions may be considered severe if they prevent you from performing work-related tasks.
Is your impairment listed in the Blue Book?
In the next step of the disability claims process, Social Security will compare your medical conditions to the listing of qualifying impairments in the Blue Book. Rather than evaluate each condition separately, they must consider the combined effects of your conditions to determine whether they are medically equivalent to a listed impairment.
Do your medical conditions prevent you from performing other work?
If the combined effects of your medical conditions are not equal to a listed impairment, Social Security will conduct an assessment of your residual functional capacity (RFC). In short, this assessment describes the limitations resulting from your disability and determines what jobs, if any, you may be able to perform. If you cannot do the same work you did became disabled or you cannot perform another type of work, you may be eligible for disability benefits.
How a Disability Attorneys of Arizona Can Help You Obtain Benefits for Multiple Illnesses
Because the majority of claims are denied, it is wise to work with our experienced disability attorney. Social Security will rely heavily on the medical evidence submitted with your claim in making its determination. While it is important to list all your mental and physical conditions, the medical record must show that you are unable to work due to the combined effects of your impairments.
Our attorney can assist with completing the disability application and will collaborate with your doctor to compile the necessary medical evidence. If your claim is denied, you have a right to a disability appeal and may also be required to attend a disability hearing. Trust Disability Attorneys of Arizona to guide you every step of the way. Principal attorney Kiel Roeschke has a well-earned reputation as a dedicated advocate of the disabled and a proven history of helping them obtain the benefits they deserve.
Contact Our Experienced Arizona Disability Benefits and Multiple Illnesses Attorneys
If you suffer from multiple medical conditions, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Because of Social Security’s strict technical and medical eligibility requirements and procedural rules, however, obtaining these vital resources is complicated. The best way to protect your rights is to work with an experienced disability lawyer, which increases the likelihood of having your claim approved. Please contact our office today for a free consultation. You will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we win benefits for you.