Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits requires understanding the rules set by the Social Security Administration. Most denials for benefits occur because people do not understand the SSA guidelines for having a qualifying medical condition, so they fail to provide the proper documentation.
To receive benefits, a person must have a medically determinable impairment.
Characteristics of an impairment
A medically determinable impairment will have documentation that provides test results and facts to back up the diagnosis. The SSA requires diagnostic tests, either clinical or laboratory, to provide scientific proof of an ailment. The opinions of a medical professional are not enough to provide the evidence required.
The SSA requires that a medically determinable impairment must be a condition that will last for at least 12 months or lead to the individual’s death. It is not enough that the disease or illness is medically documented through testing. If a person fails to also show through medical proof that the condition will meet the time limit guideline, then it does not qualify them for benefits.
Furthermore, the SSA has a requirement that the condition must prevent the person from being able to do a substantial gainful activity. SGA is work that would allow the person to earn an income that is over the current set amount for their situation. SGA limits change annually.
The SSA requirements for medically determinable impairments and how they relate to getting an approval for benefits are very strict. There is no wiggle room, and everyone must meet these guidelines.