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
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
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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Eligibility for Disability Benefits as Viewed by Social Security
Even when it is determined that a claimant is not currently capable of doing their former work and is not capable of switching to some other type of work, they can still be potentially denied for social security disability or SSI if it is decided that their functional limitations will last less than a year.
This is where the definition of disability used by SSA (the social security administration) can be clearly seen to have an impact because the social security administration only awards disability benefits to individuals who have found to have total disability and permanent disability.
Total disability is thought to be a condition that is so severe that it effectively rules out the ability to perform substantial and gainful work activity of any kind (substantial and gainful work activity is where you earn at least a certain amount per month as seen on this page: the earnings limit for SSD and SSI).
Permanent disability is thought of by SSA as a disabling condition that might never improve but, for the purposes of approving a disability claim, must last at least one full year, or be projected to last one full year, at the time a disability claim has been decided.
To prove one's eligibility for disability benefits, either from SSD or SSI, their medical records must verify that they have a disabling condition that will be disabling for a period of not less than one full year. Therefore, a claimant who hopes to win disability benefits must provide solid medical records and if their claim is being heard by an administrative law judge at a disability hearing, either they or their disability lawyer should attempt to obtain a supporting statement from one of the claimant's treating physicians.
However, proving that you are disabled and eligible to receive social security disability or SSI benefits also means proving that your current limitations make it impossible to do the work you have done in the past, and also make it impossible to do any other kind of work that might rely upon your particular job experience, as well as your level of education, and current physical and mental capacity.
This is why the social security administration asks those who are filing for disability to complete a work history questionaire. And it is also why being fully prepared for a disability hearing is essential since, on prior decisions, made at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels, disability examiners will have either misidentified a person's past jobs, or failed to consider the nature and duties of one or more of the claimant's past jobs (for example, there is a considerable difference in skill between driving a small delivery truck versus driving a tractor-trailer truck).
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
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