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 Impairments

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions



Ask a question, get an answer

Is there a trick to qualifying for disability benefits with social security?




 
No, no matter how many articles you may read that state otherwise, there is no trick to qualifying for disability benefits. The social security disability system is very plain and matter of fact with regard to how an individual may or may not qualify. And basically, the evaluation process for benefits comes down to two different sets of criteria.

1. Medical - Do your medical and/or mental health records indicate that you have one or more severe impairments. To qualify for SSD (social security disability) or SSI (supplemental security income), an individual must have at least one impairment that is considered to be severe.

What is severe, of course, may be a matter of subjective opinion. Obviously, a sprained elbow would not be considered a severe disability, while a respiratory condition or depression could easily be considered a severe impairment. Is the existence of one or more severe impairments enough to qualify a person for disability benefits?

Not necessarily. Not only must a condition be simply "severe", it must be severe enough to prevent an individual from having the ability to engage what the social security administration refers to as substantial and gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity, SGA, is work activity that is performed at a certain monetary level each year.

2. Work Activity - This is the second set of criteria that determines whether or not a person may qualify for disability benefits with the social security administration. If an individual has a severe impairment (or multiple severe impairments) and the impairment is severe enough to prevent the individual from working and earning whatever the SGA earnings limit is for the given, and this situation persists for at least a full calendar year (12 months), then the individual may be considered by the social security administration to be disabled.

On the other hand, if a person has one or two or three severe impairments yet can still engage in work activity and at the same time earn at least whatever the SGA earnings limit is for the given year, then the individual cannot be considered disabled by the social security administration.

SSD and SSI really comes down to the information that is contained in an applicant's medical records, but the determination is also affected by evidence of an applicant's work ability. Of course, evidence of an applicant's ability to work can be inferred by the information contained in an applicant's medical records (for example, the applicant's medical records may directly or indirectly state that the applicant can engage in a full range of daily activities) or can be obtained directly by the mere fact that the applicant is actually engaged in work activity during the time that their disability application or disability appeal is being processed.















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





























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Tips for Social Security Disability Psychological and mental testing
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Will working part-time affect my SSD?
The SSD and SSI definition of disability
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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 provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Getting a disability approval
How to appeal disability denial
Disability hearing results
Helpful tips for going to social security disability hearing
SSDI hearing decision
Denied social security disability now what
Social security disability appeal status
Social security disability appeal attorney fees
I was denied social security disability for the 2nd time
What happens after a disability hearing has been held
How long does a Social Security Disability judge have to make a ruling?
The Social Security Disability Blue book
How to get an SSDI reconsideration approved?
Conditions that get approved for disability
Social security disability back pay status
Denied social security disability appeal
What to say at a disability hearing
Filing for disability with fibromyalgia
Tips for applying for disability