Social Security disability benefits are designed to be a safety net for people who find themselves unable to work because of illness or injury. Unfortunately, rather than feeling cared for and protected by the system, many disabled workers instead struggle to get the benefits they deserve and end up feeling frustrated and alone. At Alperin Law, compassion and understanding are at the core of our guiding principles when fighting for our clients who need Social Security disability benefits. If your application for benefits has been denied—or if you are preparing your first application—contact our Hampton Roads law firm to get the help you need.

Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Eligibility requirements depend on your age, your years in the workforce and when you became disabled. Our team will be able to tell you whether you are eligible to apply, potentially saving you time and a great deal of frustration.

Determining Whether You Are Disabled

If you have met the eligibility requirements, the next important step is to determine whether you meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria for disability. Unlike workers’ compensation and other insurance programs, the Social Security Administration (SSA) only pays for total disability, meaning you must prove that you can no longer do any previous job you have held and there is no other job you can perform. You must also prove that you will be unable to work for at least a year or that the condition will result in death. These are tough standards to meet, and many people are denied the first time they apply. However, the disability attorneys at Alperin Law will help the SSA understand the severity of your disabilities—whether they are physical or mental health—to ensure the success of your claim.

Our Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Help You Identify Specific Conditions

Any medical condition that is severe enough to prevent you from being able to work for at least a year can qualify you for disability benefits. The SSA maintains a publication—the Blue Book—which contains an extensive listing of disabling impairments and the information and evidence you need to prove that you are disabled. A few examples of conditions included in the publication are as follows:

Musculoskeletal Injuries

Spinal disorders, amputations, bone fractures, and soft tissue injuries can be considered debilitating if you meet specific criteria.

Respiratory Disorders 

Asthma, cystic fibrosis, and other chronic respiratory disorders will be approved if your ability to breathe is significantly impaired.

Cardiovascular Disease 

Chronic heart failure, recurrent arrhythmias, congenital heart disease, and arterial disease may be approved if the condition is severe enough.


Depending on the origin and extent of the cancer and the effects of treatment or prognosis, you may be able to collect disability if you are diagnosed with any kind of cancer.

Mental Health 

Treatment-resistant anxiety or inability to sustain concentration can be considered disabling.

There are hundreds of conditions included in the Blue Book, and you must meet the criteria attached to a particular condition to be approved for Social Security disability. If your condition is not included in the Blue Book, you must be able to prove that it is equal in severity to a condition that is listed. Our attorneys will work with you to document your disability.

How Long Will the Application Process Take?

On average, it takes three to four months to get your initial determination, and another three to four months for reconsideration if your initial application is denied. In some cases, it can take as long as two years for benefits to be awarded. The SSA does have expedited programs for people with very serious or terminal conditions so that they can begin receiving benefits when they need them most. Working with a Social Security disability attorney can make sure the process is as smooth and efficient as it can possibly be.

Contact Our Social Security Disability Attorneys 

You have a lot to be worried about right now, but you can ease the burden of applying for Social Security disability benefits by working with a qualified attorney. The team at Alperin Law has helped many people obtain Social Security disability benefits, and they can help you too. We serve all communities in Eastern Virginia, including Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Isle of Wight County, Hampton, and the Eastern Shore. Contact our Virginia Beach or Norfolk office today.

Scott Alperin
Experienced Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney Serving Virginia Beach Area Clients Since 1994.