Most people in the San Diego area are aware that they can receive benefits from the Social Security Administration, but they are unsure about the exact definition of “disability.’ In this post, we will review the definitions of “disabled” and “disability” that are used in deciding on an application for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
In general, the two terms mean the total inability to work that has been caused by an illness or injury. A partial disability or a temporary disability is not eligible for benefits. In reviewing an application for benefits, the SSA first determines whether applicants can perform the same work that they performed before they were injured or became ill. If not, the SSA then decides whether the applicant is capable of adjusting to another form of work. If the answer to that question is no, the SSA then determines the length of the disabling condition. To be eligible, the illness or injury must have lasted or must be expected to last for 12 months or to result in death.
Applicants can work and receive compensation as long as the compensation does not exceed an average of $1,130 a month. The illness or condition must interfere with the applicant’s ability to work. The SSA maintains an extensive list of disabling conditions, and any condition on that list ordinarily qualifies the applicant for disability benefits. If the condition is not on this list, the SSA will look at other factors to answer the necessary questions.
The SSA relies on its own records and the applicant’s medical and employment records. Assembling this information can often be burdensome, and organizing the information to support an appeal in the event that the original application is denied may require special skill. Anyone completing making a claim for SSDI benefits may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in handling such claims. A knowledgeable attorney can provide advice on the likelihood of an application being approved and can assist in filing and prosecuting an appeal if the application should be denied.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Disability Planner: How We Decide If You Are Disabled,” accessed on Sep. 26, 2016