What Are Qualifying Conditions for Disability in Florida?

Living with a disability can be incredibly challenging. Daily tasks you once took for granted may become difficult or even impossible.  Financial security is often a major concern on top of everything else. If you’re a Florida resident with a disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. This program provides much-needed financial assistance to individuals who are unable to earn a living due to a qualifying medical condition.

What are qualifying conditions for disability in Florida? In this blog, we’ll explore the types of medical conditions that can qualify you for benefits, and explain what to do if your initial application gets denied. We’ll also highlight how an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can significantly increase your chances of approval.

Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits in Florida?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides financial support to individuals with disabilities that significantly limit their ability to work. To qualify for SSDI benefits in Florida, you must meet two main criteria:

1. A Qualifying Disability

You must have a medically diagnosed impairment that prevents you from performing any type of work that generates “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) for at least one year, or that is expected to result in death.

Even if you can continue working part-time, your disability must significantly limit your ability to earn above the SGA limit. In 2024,  the SGA limit is  $1,550 per month (with a higher limit of $2,590 for individuals considered legally blind under Social Security Administration rules). There are also different rules for determining SGA if you’re self-employed.

2. Sufficient Work Credits

Generally, you need a recent work history with enough Social Security credits. The exact number of credits required depends on your age when you become disabled.  People under 24 may qualify with fewer work credits.  You can access your work credit history online through the Social Security Administration website.

Additional Considerations

While these are the main requirements, the application process can be complex. There are also benefits available for spouses, ex-spouses, and children of qualifying individuals.  If you have any questions about your eligibility or need help navigating the application process, consider consulting with a qualified West Palm Beach Social Security lawyer.

Qualifying Medical Conditions for SSD in Florida

The SSA maintains a guide called the “Listing of Impairments.”  This listing outlines specific medical conditions and their associated criteria. Even if your condition isn’t on the Listing of Impairments, you may still qualify for benefits. Many  common medical conditions in Florida can be considered disabling by the SSA, such as:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders like arthritis, back pain, and fibromyalgia
  • Severe psychological conditions
  • Nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy
  • Circulatory system disorders like heart disease, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cancers and other chronic illnesses
  • Visual and hearing impairments that significantly impact your ability to work

The key to a successful application is having thorough medical documentation that clearly shows the extent of your disability and its impact on your ability to work. The more comprehensive your medical records are, the stronger your case will be.

Understanding SSDI vs. SSI: Two Key Disability Programs in Florida

There are actually two main disability programs offered by the Social Security Administration:

  • SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance): This program is for individuals with a qualifying disability and a sufficient work history.
  • SSI (Supplemental Security Income): This program provides basic financial assistance to low-income disabled adults and seniors, regardless of work history.

It’s important to note that SSI benefits are generally lower than SSDI benefits. In some situations, you may qualify for both programs. We recommend speaking with a qualified Social Security Disability attorney to determine which program best suits your situation.

Denied SSDI Application? Here’s What You Can Do

Unfortunately, the initial application for SSD benefits often gets denied. There are several reasons for this, including missing evidence, incomplete applications, or the condition not meeting the SSA’s strict criteria.

This doesn’t mean you should give up!  If your initial application is denied, hiring an experienced disability lawyer in West Palm Beach can significantly improve your chances of success in the appeals process.  An attorney can:

  • Help you gather the necessary medical evidence and documentation to strengthen your case
  • Represent you during the appeals process, ensuring your rights are protected
  • Negotiate with the SSA on your behalf to get the benefits you’re entitled to receive

Understanding qualifying medical conditions for Social Security Disability is crucial for Florida residents with disabilities. While the application process can be complex, having the right information and support from a disability attorney can make all the difference.

If you’re unsure whether your condition qualifies or have been denied benefits, don’t hesitate to seek legal help. Remember, you’re not alone in this. There are resources available to help you secure the financial assistance so you can move forward.

Tell Us About Your Case. Get Help from Disability Lawyers in West Palm Beach

Living with a disability is challenging enough.  The complexities of the Social Security Disability application and appeals process shouldn’t add to your burden. At DiBiaggio Law, we understand the difficulties you face and are here to help.

Our experienced West Palm Beach Social Security lawyer offers comprehensive support throughout the entire process. We’ll sit down with you to review your medical condition, work history, and eligibility for benefits.  We’ll guide you through the application process, ensuring you gather the necessary documentation and complete the forms correctly.

Preparing for your hearing is essential. Our team will provide coaching, equipping you to effectively present your case to the judge and advocate for your rights.  Our ultimate goal is to secure a fair disability payment schedule that provides the financial support you’re entitled to receive.

Did you know that studies show that having a lawyer on your side can significantly increase your chances of approval?  Here’s the good news: there’s no upfront cost. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay if we win your case.

Ready to take control of your future? Call DiBiaggio Law today at (561) 473-9800 or fill out our online form and schedule your free consultation. Let’s discuss your options and build a strong case together.

Copyright © 2024. DiBiaggio Law. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

DiBiaggio Law
605 Belvedere Road, Suite 17
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
(561) 473-9800

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Deirdre DiBiaggio

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