Portland Social Security Disability Qualifications

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits

Qualifying for disability benefits isn’t as easy as you think. You know you can’t work because of your medical condition, but that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically receive Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a large government agency that uses a complex legal system to decide if you deserve benefits.

You can only win disability benefits if you meet the SSA’s strict definition of “disabled.”

Portland family with Disabilities

What’s Considered a Disability?

The Social Security has a long list of conditions that qualify for disability benefits. The medical condition can be physical, mental, or a combination of both. Some of the most common conditions include cancer, back problems, arthritis, depression, fibromyalgia, diabetes and more.

The key is proving that your medical condition(s) make it impossible for you to work and you’re unable to adjust to other types of work because of your medical condition(s).

Maine disability attorney Dan Emery can help you go over your disability claim to determine if you have a chance to win disability benefits. Contact our office today to discuss your disability case.

To win Social Security Disability benefits, you must be eligible to apply and you must meet the definition of disabled as outline by the SSA.

Are You Eligible to Apply?

There are two types of Social Security Disability benefits: SSDI and SSI.


The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program pays benefits to you and certain family members if you meet three criteria:

  1. You are disabled,
  2. You have earned enough work credits through Social Security taxes, and;
  3. As of the date you became disabled, you must have worked under Social Security at least 5 of the last 10 years.

Just because you can’t work doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get disability benefits. If the SSA thinks you can perform another job, you won’t be eligible.

When you turn 50, the strictness of the rules relaxes some to make it easier for you to win benefits. The rules also get less strict at ages 55 and 60. No matter your age, you must prove you have a medical condition and that it will prevent you from working for at least 12 months.

If you need help with your SSD claim, call Dan Emery today.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program for disabled adults who have limited income and resources.

It’s generally for those who haven’t paid into the Social Security system enough to qualify for SSD. SSI is also available to children with disabilities.

What medical conditions qualify?

The SSA keeps a long list of medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits. This list includes diseases, physical impairments and even mental conditions.

Some of the most common conditions we see include:

Diseases require medical documentation from a doctor showing that your disease is so debilitating that you are unable to perform any type of work – or that your disease will result in death.

Physical impairments are a little more difficult to prove since you may be able to adjust to another job depending on what part of you is limited physically.

Mental impairments are often the most difficult to prove. It’s best to have documented evidence from a mental health professional or doctor showing that your mental impairment is so severe you’re unable to hold any type of job.

No matter whether your disability is a disease, a physical impairment, a mental impairment or some combination, winning disability benefits is never easy. Contact Dan Emery for help proving your disability to SSA.

Get Help Qualifying for Disability Benefits from Dan Emery

If you’re unable to work, it’s important you schedule regular medical appointments and gather enough documentation to prove your case to Social Security.

In general, Social Security considers you disabled if:

  • You cannot do work that you did before
  • You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

Contact Dan Emery today about your disability case. We know the people of Maine and want to help you with your disability claim.



Brenda: Dan Emery wants to help people get the disability benefits they deserve. When you meet with Dan, he’ll give you a sense of what’s going to be said by the judge and what’s going to be expected of you.

Dan:We spend a great deal of time preparing for the hearing, we meet with people several days before every hearing and we go over how we intend to prove their case and get them benefits.

Announcer: Call Attorney Daniel Emery. Toll-free 1-800-310-7771.

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Do You Need A Lawyer?

Yes. Although you can appeal a denial without a lawyer, help from an experienced professional will improve your chances.

Contact Dan Emery today to start your appeal in Maine.

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