Topic Categories:

Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

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How Will Social Security Disability or SSI Look At My Case If I have More Than One Disabling Condition?

Social Security considers all of your disabling conditions when they make a medical disability determination. It does not matter whether you have one or more than one disabling condition. In fact, Social Security is more concerned about how your disabling condition, or a combination of conditions, affects your ability to perform substantial work activity than the conditions themselves.

The disability examiner assigned to your disability claim must first determine if you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment (s). This can only be done through objective medical evidence from an acceptable medical source (i.e. a licensed physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.). Social Security does not consider a chiropractor to be an acceptable medical source, although they will consider any objective medical tests contained in their records.

Once the disability examiner determines that you have a medically determinable disabling condition (s), they must evaluate the severity of your condition or conditions. At this point, your disability claim will be approved for benefits if your disabling condition (s) meet or equal the criteria of a Social Security medical impairment listing (in the blue book, also known as the social security disability list of impairments).

Unfortunately, few disability claimants actually meet or equal the strict criteria of an impairment listing. If your condition or conditions do not meet or equal the criteria of an impairment listing, your disability claim still has a chance of being approved through a medical vocational allowance. Medical vocational disability determinations take your age, education, past work, and residual functional capacity (residual functional capacity is what you are able to do in spite of the limitations of your disabling condition or conditions) into consideration.

The disability process involves an evaluation of your ability to perform substantial work activity (Social Security determines a monthly earnings amount that it considers to be substantial gainful activity or SGA) as well as an evaluation of your medical and/or mental conditions. Disability examiners must determine whether or not you can perform any of your past relevant work (work that lasted for three months or more, in which you earned substantial earnings, and had time to learn the job) considering your residual functional capacity.

If they find you unable to perform any of your past work, they must also determine if you are able to perform other types of work considering your age, transferability of your job skills, residual functional capacity, and education. You can only be found disabled under Social Security guidelines if you are unable to do any past work, or any other work at a substantial gainful activity level because of the limitations imposed upon you by your disabling condition(s).

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

What is considered a Disabling medical condition by Social Security?
Can you File for Disability for more than one Condition?
How Disabling Does A Condition Have To Be For Social Security Disability, SSDI Benefits?
Receiving Benefits - Your Medical Condition and Social Security Disability or SSI
What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?
Receiving disability for a mental condition in North Carolina
What condition or conditions qualifies for disability in North Carolina?
Social Security Disability Approvals - Medical Conditions and Getting Approved
Social Security Disability, previous employers, and past job work performance

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria