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Social Security FAQs

We Can Answer Your Questions About Social Security Disability

Social Security is a complicated area of law. Because of our long experience in this area, we are able to answer some questions we often receive from clients.

What is “disability” as defined by the Social Security Administration?

Disability is the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

Substantial Gainful Activity is a gross amount of money an individual can make in a given month and still qualify for Social Security Disability.  This amount is reviewed annually.  The substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount for 2020 is $1,260.00 per month.

You DO NOT need to wait 12 months after you are no longer engaged in substantial gainful activity to apply for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income.  You may file as soon as you have stopped working or making under the substantial gainful activity amount.

Can children get Social Security?

Yes.  Children may quality for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  There are 6 functional domains that the child is evaluated in if the child does not meet or equal listing.  These domains are:

  1. Acquiring and using information
  2. Attending and completing tasks
  3. Interacting and relating with other
  4. Moving about and manipulating objects
  5. Caring for yourself
  6. Health and Physical well being

To be functionally equivalent to a listing, the impairment(s) must cause marked limitations in two of the six domains or an extreme limitation in at least one of the domains.

A “marked” limitation in a domain exists when your impairment(s) in a domain interferes seriously with your ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities.  A “marked limitation” also means a limitation is “more than moderate” but “less than extreme.”

An “extreme” limitation in a domain exists when your impairment(s) interferes very seriously with your ability to independently initiate, sustain or complete activities.  “Extreme” limitation also means a limitation that is “more than marked.”

A listing is medical criteria for certain body systems or medical conditions that if an individual can meet, will qualify for disability.

The listings are quite technical and some individuals may meet some of the criteria and not others.  An individual con still be found disabled if they do not meet a listing. At the Law Offices of Frank J. Niesen, Jr., can help you navigate the listings and the entire disability process. Contact us by phone at 314-667-4923.