While medical evidence is the cornerstone for deciding social security disability cases, other evidence, which is not related to the claimant’s physical or mental health, is considered as well. This non-medical evidence can have a significant impact on a disabled person’s claim.
Non-medical criteria include things like age, work credits, work and education history, current income, and marital status. Understanding how each of these factors plays a role in determining eligibility for SSD will assist claimants in knowing more about what to expect when filing a claim.
- Age: A claimant’s age is important when deciding whether to approve a disability claim for a couple of reasons. First, it helps social security representatives determine how many hours must have been worked in order to obtain eligibility. Second, a claimant’s age can help determine if he or she would be a candidate for alternative job training. Generally, proof of a person’s age can be obtained simply by providing a birth certificate.
- Work Credits: Work credits are one of the most important non-medical aspects of a social security disability claim. In order to qualify for social security benefits, generally a claimant must have worked a required number of hours. The minimum number of hours required varies with age, and the amount of benefits a claimant qualifies for is based on the amount earned in the ten years prior to the claim.
- Work and Education History: In order to qualify for disability, the claimant must not be able to perform ANY work, not just their previous job. A review of work and education history can help determine if there are any alternative jobs that the claimant can work.
- Current Income: A claimant’s current earned income can have a significant impact on his or her claim. Even though the claimant may not be able to earn as much as was earned previously due to a physical or mental health condition, that person may not be considered to be disabled. If he or she earns more than the limit for substantial gainful activity (SGA) each month, social security has the idea that the person must not be functionally limited enough to be deemed disabled.
- Marital Status: While a person’s marital status may not in itself determine whether the person qualifies for social security disability, it is often used to help determine which benefits the claimant qualifies for through social security.