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How does Social Security define disability?

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2023 | SSDI

Understanding Social Security’s definition of disability is incredibly important when applying for these benefits. If you fail to fully grasp this concept, it could impact your ability to get approval for benefits.

The Social Security Administration has a strict definition of disability. That means it will not waiver on the definition, and you must meet all parts to qualify for benefits.

The severity of the injury or illness

The SSA states a disability means an illness or injury that will continue to limit your ability to work for at least 12 months. It does not include short-term issues as the SSA believes you have other options, such as workers’ compensation, that can provide for you for temporary conditions.

The ability to work

You should not be able to do any job that will earn you a substantial income. The limit for income changes each year, but it is fairly low. Your injury or illness must make you unable to do your normal job. You must be unable to work in any job. If you can work, then you probably do not meet the disability definition.

The list of conditions

The SSA does have a list of conditions that automatically qualify for benefits. If you find your condition on the list, then you should not have to worry about the disability definition too much unless you are earning a lot of money through employment.

The SSA will apply the definition of disability to everyone that applies. Even if you have a condition on the list of automatic qualifications, you still have to meet the other requirements. Keep in mind, SSD benefits are only for those who have medical conditions that prevent them from earning a living, and the SSA is very strict in qualifying anyone to receive them.