Promising Signs that You’ll Be Approved for Disability

As you wait for a decision about your disability benefits, you may start to look for signs that your application will be approved. Of course, you can never know for sure until you have an official decision.

From our Phoenix Social Security disability lawyers, here are ten positive signs that you’ll be approved for disability benefits.

Ten Signs that You’ll Be Approved for Disability

1. You meet the work credit requirements

Social Security Disability is insurance that you earn through work credits. For your application to have any chance of being approved, you must meet the work history requirements or qualify through a family member’s work history.

You can earn up to four credits per year. The number of credits you need depends on how old you are. Younger workers can qualify with fewer credits.

2. Your earnings are below SGA

SSDI pays benefits if you’re unable to engage in substantial, gainful activity (SGA). That’s how much you earn through work each month. As of 2024, the SGA threshold is $1,550. For someone who is blind, the SGA threshold is $2,590. If you make too much, you don’t qualify to receive disability benefits even if you have a disability.

Once you start receiving benefits, there is a way that you can elect to have a trial work period while still collecting benefits. However, for people in the application process, you must have earnings below the SGA. If your earnings are below SGA, it’s a positive sign that your application will be approved.

3. You’re over 50

Even though anyone who meets the qualifications can receive disability, being over 50 is a positive sign that your application will be treated favorably. Part of the question in determining who qualifies for disability is the person’s residual functional capacity or ability to do any job that exists in the economy.

When you’re over 50, examiners will take that into account when they look at your ability to adjust to new work. They’ll consider it along with other factors like your education and prior work history.

4. Disability has lasted 12 months (or it will)

Social Security Disability has a 12-month impairment requirement. The disability must:

  • Have already lasted 12 months or more
  • Have an expected recovery period of 12 months or more
  • Be expected to result in death

The SSDI program presumes that people have personal resources to cover short periods of disability. To qualify for disability benefits, you must satisfy the 12-month requirement. If your disability has already lasted that long, or if there is clear medical proof that it is expected to last that long, it’s a positive sign for your disability application. Impairments may be concurrent – you can have two impairments at once that have a combined effect of a 12-month disability.

5. You can’t work your past job

Qualifying for disability is a multi-pronged test. One of the questions is whether you can perform previous work. If you can work at the same job or a job you had recently, you can’t get benefits.

The nature of the disability must prevent you from earning income in ways that you did in the past.

If you have a physical or mental impairment that prevents you from working at your past job, and there is clear medical proof, it’s a sign that you will be approved for disability.

6. You have a disability listed in the Blue Book

Some medical conditions prevent a person from working. To make the application process easier, disability administrators have created a list of these medical impairments called the Blue Book. If you have a medical condition that is listed in the Blue Book, they presume that you’re unable to work.

The Blue Book listings explain in detail how each medical impairment is evaluated. If you have an impairment in a listing, and you can provide medical evidence, it’s a positive sign for your application. If you don’t have a Blue Book impairment, it’s still possible to qualify by equaling a listing or showing that you don’t have the residual functional capacity to work. However, if your impairment is in the Blue Book, it can make your disability application easier.

7. Complete application

Making sure that your application is complete can help your disability application be approved.

Claims examiners need medical evidence showing your disability and its impact on your ability to work. They need your personal information and employment history. If information is missing, it may result in your application being rejected. Having a complete application is a positive step and a sign that your application may reach a favorable result.

8. Up-to-date information

Sometimes, claims examiners need to contact you about your application. They may need more information or clarification. They may request a consultative examination. If claims examiners can’t reach you, they may decide to deny your application. Ensuring your information is accurate and up to date is a positive step towards application approval.

9. The hearing judge gives positive signs

You may be able to read into the way the judge conducts your hearing. If they don’t ask the vocational expert a lot of questions, it may be a sign that they find the testimony credible. You may be able to tell from the questions the judge asks and their demeanor if they are likely to approve the claim. While you can’t be sure until you have a decision, the judge might give indicators of what they think of your case.

10. A qualified attorney thinks it looks promising

At Pekas Smith Disability Attorneys, we’ve helped tens of thousands of people with disability claims. We know when it looks promising for an application to be approved and when claims examiners are likely to be skeptical. We can give you a personalized evaluation of your case. We can represent you in your claim for benefits.

Ask a Disability Lawyer About Your Case

We invite you to contact Pekas Smith Disability Attorneys. Let us review your application before filing and give you an honest opinion about your case. We would be happy to share things you can do to build a stronger case. Call 602.962.2818 or message us today.

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