How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

To get a Social Security Disability or SSI Award do you have to have a Permanent Disability?

For the social security administration to award you benefits under the SSDI (Social Security Disability insurance) or SSI (supplemental security income) programs, your disabling condition must be considered a total disability, meaning that it must result in your condition satisfying the Social Security definition of disability.

How do you satisfy this definition? Your condition must be severe enough that it results in enough physical and/or mental limitations that you are subsequently unable to enage in work activity that earns you what SSA refers to as "substantial gainful activity".

Click to view the current: SGA earnings limit.

What types of physical and mental limitations are we referring to? In a general sense, we mean functional limitations that force a reduction in your ability to engage in normal ADLs, or activities of daily living. More specifically, however, social security will look at your ability to potentially do any of the past jobs you might have held within the past fifteen years, as long as you did the job long enough to have learned and retained the skills that are particular to that job.

If the determination is made that you cannot do any of these jobs, there is the possibility that you may find yourself qualifying for disability. However, the inability to return to past work is just the first hurdle to clear. If you cannot do your past work, you must then be found to be unable to use your education and training to do some type of other work.

The inability to do your past work and any other work while earning a substantial and gainful income are what constitutes eligibility for disability benefits from the social security administration.

However, in addition to satisfying these particular disability requirements and criteria, a claimant's disabling condition must also be considered to be one that is long-standing and practically permanent. It is for this reason that qualifying for disability means having a condition that renders a person unable to work and earn a substantial and gainful income (in the performance of a job they have done in the past, or in the performance of some type of other work that they might be able to switch to based on their vocational profile) for one full year or longer.

The durational requirement of the social security administration definition of disability means that unless a disabling condition has this impact on a person's ability to work for at least 12 months, they cannot be considered fully disabled. Moreover, as far as SSA is concerned, having a condition last this long is indicative of the probability that the condition will be permanent, or, at the very least, will last for years.

Social Security will periodically review a claimant who has been approved for disability. However, a disability review will typically occur only every few years (for most claimants, reviews will initially be set for every three or seven years, but after the first review is conducted, the majority of claims will ordinarily be reviewed only once every seven years, if even this often).

Will a claimant stand a high chance of having their benefits stopped if their disability case is reviewed? No, most claimants who have received a Social Security Disability award or SSI award will have their benefits continued after a review is conducted. This is because disability benefits cannot be ceased unless the medical evidence that is gathered in a review shows that medical improvement has taken place, and this is very difficult to prove in the majority of all cases.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Total Disability - Will social security try to determine if a person is totally disabled?
Will You Possibly Get Less Than Total Disability From Social Security?
To get Social Security Disability or SSI do you have to have Total Disability?
Does Social Security offer Partial Disability Benefits?
How severe must your condition be to be awarded Social Security Disability or SSI?
Social Security Disability - Permanent Disability
To get a Social Security Disability or SSI Award do you have to have a Permanent Disability?
Filing for disability and switching to other work when you have medical problems
Social Security Disability For Back Condition pain in California
How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?
Disability requirements and criteria in California

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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.