1. Social Security Disability
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  3. Glossary
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  5. Disability (SSA Definition)

Disability (SSA Definition)

Disability, as defined by Social Security Disability is described as an individual’s complete incapacity to conduct labor in a gainful occupation owing to physical, mental, or emotional problems. To be pronounced disabled by the Social Security Administration, you must be completely disabled. Three qualities characterize this:

  • You are utterly incapable of carrying out any task that you have ever carried out. This includes not only your most recent job and other recent jobs, but also all previous employment throughout your career.
  • Your physiological (or mental/emotional) issues are bad enough that you cannot accept any other available work.
  • Your handicap is predicted to continue longer than a year or to end before the year is over.

If you do not meet all three conditions, the SSA considers you to not have a total impairment, and you will most likely be denied Social Security Disability benefits. It nearly goes without saying that this is an extremely restrictive definition of disability and is significantly different from the standards employed by other disability programs, such as Workman’s Compensation.

To qualify for Social Security Condition, you must demonstrate that your disability will prevent you from working in any field in which you have experience or in which you would be fairly competent. When establishing whether your disability will restrict you from qualifying for currently available jobs, factors such as your age, degree of handicap, and education level are examined.

If you believe you are suffering from a condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, you may file a disability claim. A disability claim is a request to the Social Security Administration for monthly financial support. You can apply for disability benefits through one of two programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) (SSDI). Both can assist in covering the expenditures associated with your handicap and everyday living expenses.

It is always a good idea to consult a professional Social Security Disability attorney when attempting to establish a Social Security Disability claim, as they are familiar with the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability and can assist you in determining whether your claim is worth pursuing.