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How the U.S. Social Security Administration defines “disability”

On Behalf of | Jul 18, 2021 | Social Security Disability

When you have a disability that keeps you from making a living and supporting yourself, you may look to the government for help. If you decide to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance from the U.S. Social Security Administration, the approval of your application depends on whether your condition meets the administration’s narrow definition of “disability.”

Per the SSA, the administration considers the following when deciding whether your condition warrants SSDI benefits.

Whether you are working

Whether you currently work plays a role in whether the administration approves you for SSDI benefits. Your monthly earnings have to fall below a certain threshold for the SSA to consider approving you for SSDI. Whether you may perform the work you did before your disability and whether you might be able to perform other forms of work also undergo consideration.

Whether your condition is severe enough

To be severe enough to warrant SSDI benefits, your condition must prevent you from performing the basic functions needed for gainful employment, such as standing, walking or communicating. Your condition also has to be serious enough to keep you from doing any of these things for at least a year.

Whether your condition is on the SSA’s list

The SSA maintains a database of conditions that it considers serious enough to keep individuals from working.  If your condition appears on this list, it may make it easier for you to receive approval for benefits.

Keep in mind that many who apply for SSDI receive denials after filing their initial applications. However, some applicants receive approval for benefits after all once they file appeals.