Hank’s wife, Marie, wanted him to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). After all, he was no longer able to work and needed to replace his previous income. Hank looked into applying for disability benefits but was confused by the forms, the requests for information, and the need to meet Social Security’s definition of disability. He wondered if there was a way to understand what constitutes a disability, at least in the eyes of the Social Security Administration.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
Applicants who apply for SSDI and SSI benefits obviously feel they have a disability. When Social Security assesses an application for benefits, they look to see if the applicant:
- No longer can perform the work he or she previous performed;
- Is unable to adjust to a different type of work because of a serious medical condition; and
- Has a debilitating medical condition that is expected last for at least one year or that will cause the applicant’s death.
Exploring Social Security’s Definition of Disability
During the application process, Social Security may ask the following questions to determine disability:
- Are you working? If you are still working, you cannot earn more than a certain amount each month.
- Is your condition “severe”? Whatever disorder you have, it must significantly limit your ability to perform basic activities like listing, standing, walking, sitting, or remember for at least one year.
- Is your condition found on the list of disabling conditions? Social Security uses a listing of impairments to help determine if a condition is disabling.
- Can you do the work you did previously? If not, Social Security typically will find that you are disabled.
- Can you do any other type of work? If not, you probably will be considered disabled and eligible for disability benefits like SSDI and SSI.
If you are not sure you should apply for disability benefits, contact an attorney today.
Understanding Social Security’s Definition of Disability Is Just the First Step
The strict definition of disability according to Social Security is:
“… the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death, or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
Does this apply to you?
At The Law Offices of Martin Taller, your case receives the attention and care of experienced Social Security Disability attorneys. For your free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. We are located in Anaheim, but we assist clients throughout Southern California.