Sometimes our true physical or mental condition is a gray area. What one person considers to be a disability another may feel is just a serious condition. For example, Joe feels his arthritis is a disability, so he applies for government disability benefits. However, Joe’s ‘feelings’ will not get his application approved. What really matters is the official Social Security Administration disability definition.
Disability Benefits and Their Requirements
The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages two disability benefit programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In both programs, applicants are required to meet certain qualifications before being approved for benefits. Both programs require that the applicant have a disability. However, SSDI recipients must have accumulated enough work credits to qualify. SSI recipients are assessed based on income and resources, but not work history.
Meeting the disability requirement depends on how the SSA rates an applicant’s condition using the official Social Security Administration disability definition.
The SSA may consider an applicant disabled if the applicant:
- Cannot perform the work he or she previous performed;
- Cannot adjust to a different type of work because of their medical conditions; and
- Has a disability that should last for at least one year or that will cause the applicant’s death.
The question, then, is how will the SSA determine that a candidate meets the disability definition. The answer is that the SSA uses a series of questions to determine disability:
- Are you working? If you earn more than $1,220 per month, you may not meet the disability definition.
- Is your condition “severe”? You must have a condition that significantly limits basic activities like lifting, standing, walking, sitting, and remember for at least 12 months.
- Is your condition found on the list of disabling conditions? The SSA developed a listing of impairments. If your illness does not appear on this extensive list, the SSA may consider other aspects of your condition to determine disability.
- Can you do the work you did previously? The SSA may decide you are disabled if you cannot do the work you did before the onset of your condition,
- Can you do any other type of work? You may be deemed disabled if you are unable to perform any other type of job due to your condition.
If you are not sure your medical condition is a disability, contact an attorney today.
Do You Meet the Social Security Administration’s Disability Definition?
If so, maybe it’s time to get the benefits you need. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience in the legal field. Call us at 714-385-8100 to set up a free consultation. Though our office is conveniently located in Anaheim, we represent clients throughout Southern California.