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Tampa Workers' Compensation Attorney / Blog / Social Security Disability / Fundamental Elements of a Social Security Disability Claim

Fundamental Elements of a Social Security Disability Claim


Depending on the recipient’s income and a few other factors, the average Social Security Disability benefit is almost $1.500 per month in Florida. That monthly cash, along with automatic Medicaid eligibility, could change the life of a family that includes a disabled person. However, benefit eligibility is not the end of the story.

SSD benefits are usually hard to obtain. There’s no underlying presumption of entitlement, as is the case with VA disability or workers’ compensation. Most people feel bad for disabled veterans and injured workers. However, SSD recipients, at least according to many, are trying to game the system. Furthermore, your benefits, if you receive them, could be significantly lower than the “average” figure.

That’s where a Tampa Social Security Disability lawyer makes a big difference. Attorneys pay close attention to small details. These little details often make the difference between maximum benefits and settling for less. Furthermore, attorneys doggedly advocate for clients. A good lawyer never accepts anything but the best possible results under the circumstances.

Medical Condition

Some conditions are presumptively disabling. This d-word has a very specific meaning in this context, as outlined below. Some presumptively disabling conditions include:

  • Total blindness,
  • Total deafness,
  • Amputated leg(s) at the hip,
  • Cerebral palsy,
  • Down syndrome,
  • Low birth weight,
  • Spinal cord injuries,
  • HIV or AIDS,
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),
  • End-stage renal disease (ESRD) requiring chronic dialysis, and
  • Terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less.

These conditions are not only presumptively disabling. They’re also eligible for expedited review. DDS (Disability Determination Services) officers usually rule on PD cases in under six months.

The next medical condition level is a Blue Book condition. These conditions are presumptively disabling, but they aren’t eligible for expedited review. Blue Book conditions include:

  • Heart disease,
  • Congenital disorders,
  • Endocrine (pancreas, pituitary, and thyroid) issues,
  • Diabetes,
  • PTSD, and
  • Paralysis/loss of limb or member.

If the applicant has a condition that’s substantially similar to a Blue Book condition, a Tampa Social Security Disability lawyer can obtain benefits for applicants.


Briefly, in this context, “permanent” means terminal, which usually makes the disability a presumptive condition, or expected to last one year.

A proper medical diagnosis often makes the difference between a PD, Blue Book, and unlisted condition. Likewise, a proper diagnosis often makes the difference between a temporary or permanent condition.

New medical or other treatments could affect the permanency as well, if the recipient is a good candidate for the prescription drug or other therapy and the side-effects aren’t too bad. Those are two pretty big ifs.

Disabling Condition

Although it’s primarily a medical term, the doctor never comes into the room and soberly announces, “You have a disability.” Instead, a condition might or might not be disabling, mostly depending on vocational, educational, and economic factors.

Usually, a missing arm disables a coal miner but not a college professor. Furthermore, if an employer has a choice between a blind applicant and a sighted applicant who have basically the same qualifications, the sighted applicant almost always gets hired.

A Tampa Social Security Disability lawyer usually partners with vocational experts and other outside professionals to establish the non-medical nature of a disability.

On a related note, attorneys also often rely on lay testimony. Friends and family members cannot testify about the medical, vocational, or other technical aspects of a disability. But they can testify about how the applicant’s medical condition affects everyday life. This testimony is often very compelling.

 Count on a Hard-Working Hillsborough County Attorney

Injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.



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