Qualifying Disabilities and Impairments

Massachusetts Social Security Disability (SSDI) Advocates

The Massachusetts disability lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates have over 25 years of experience recovering social security disability (SSDI) benefits for injured workers throughout the Commonwealth. From our Boston office, we provide personalized service with a small-town feel. We maximize workers’ compensation and disability benefits for residents in communities including, but not limited to Boston, Essex County, Plymouth County, Middlesex County, Suffolk, County, Norfolk County, and the Merrimack River area.

Massachusetts Social Security Disability Facts

Massachusetts General Laws incorporate the federal Social Security Act (the “Act”) for the purpose of defining qualifying disabilities and impairments. Within the Commonwealth, 30 field offices, 2 Disability Determination Services, and 3 Disability Adjudication Offices provide over 1.5 million Massachusetts residents with more than $1.5 billion per month in SSDI benefits.

Massachusetts Social Security Disability Law

Section 1614 of the Act is codified in 42 U.S.C. § 1382(c), which provides benefits to “disabled” individuals under limited terms of eligibility. In order to qualify for SSDI income, workers must be totally disabled; partial or short-term conditions do not count. Section 1614 of the Act defines “aged, blind, or disabled” as individuals who are:

  • U.S. residents or legal permanent residents 65 or older
  • Under 18 and blind or who have a disability “listed” under Act
  • Disabled such that they cannot perform any “substantial gainful activity” due to a medically diagnosable physical or mental impairment that is:
    • A terminal/fatal condition or one that lasts at least 12 months
    • Of “sufficient severity” to result in functional limitation
  • Unable to execute normal daily functions without medical assistance
  • Suffering from the “combined effect of all” defined medically severe impairments

Pursuant to Section 1614(E), the Social Security Commissioner sets forth criteria to determine whether applicants can engage in substantial gainful activity. The commissioner reviews the alleged disability every three years for signs of improvement, if any, and continued eligibility for benefits. Payees must show that they receive “medically necessary and available” treatment.

Listed and Other Disabilities

The Social Security Administration and Disability Determination Service use a step-by-step process to determine eligible impairments. They compare the applicant’s medical evidence to medical disabilities and impairments listed in a “blue book” for matching criteria, including: listed impairments for each major body system; the expectation that a given disability will result in death; whether the impairment is sufficiently severe; and the disease process’s effect on adults and kids.

Conditions need not be listed in order to warrant payment under Title II of the Social Security Act. Patients with diabetes, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, are still eligible for benefits even though these medical problems are not listed in the blue book. Unlisted disabilities can also lead to benefits pursuant to Section 1614 if they:

  • Are “functionally equivalent” to a listed disability
  • Qualify for “medical vocational allowance” based on
    • Residual functional capacity evaluation
    • Exertion levels and limits required to do sedentary, light, or medium work (past or other)

Qualifying disabilities and mental impairments are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For emotional disabilities such as anxiety, depression, or cognitive impairment, examiners must determine the severity of the condition and whether the applicant can do other types of work.

Proving Disability or Impairment

If you believe you have a qualifying disability or impairment, contact the Massachusetts social security disability attorneys of Kantrovitz & Associates today. We are dedicated to workers’ compensation and disability law. With over 25 years of experience proving eligibility for benefits, our lawyers know how to expedite the recovery process and maximize your award. Call (800) 367-0871 for a free consultation or contact us online.