Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Will my claim for SSD or SSI Disability Benefits be denied?

A claim for SSD or SSI disability will be denied if the case fails to satisfy the social security administration definition of disability. That definition requires that the individual who is filing for benefits be disabled for a period of not less than one full year before monthly disability benefits may be approved.

However, what does SSA mean by "disabled"?. The definition of disability used by the social security administration is different from that used by other governmental agencies and private insurance companies. To be considered disabled, an individual's disability must last the minimum 12 month period as mentioned, and in that time the person must be --

1. Unable to "substantially and gainfully" work at any job they have done in the relevant past. This means potentially all jobs performed within the last 15 years.

2. Unable to "substantially and gainfully" work at any other type of job for which they might be eligible as a result of their mental and physical capabilities, age, education, and transferrable or non-transferrable work skills.

At this point, however, a clarification should be made. Qualifying for disability under this definition of disability does not strictly mean that a person cannot have the ability to work during this 12 month period. There are individuals who engage in work activity while they are filing for disability. And there are individuals who receive disability benefits while they are engaged in work activity.

You can work while pursing or receiving disability benefits. You simply cannot earn more than a certain maximum amount while you are working. This maximum amount is known as the SGA limit. SGA is the level at which a person is no considerable disabled. Translation: if you can work and earn at least the SGA limit amount that is in effect for a given year, then you cannot be considered disabled by SSA. The flip side to this is that you can receive disability benefits if your earnings are under this limit.

Receiving SSD or SSI disability benefits, in actuality, is not about proving that an individual no longer has the ability to work, but, rather, proving that they can no longer work and earn a livable income, a.k.a. a substantial and gainful income.

Another way to approach this question (Will my claim for SSD or SSI Disability Benefits be denied?), though, is to state that a claim will be denied if a person's medical records do not show that they have the physical or mental limitations necessary to prove that they are unable to engage in work activity at a substantial and gainful activity level. The information gained from medical records will determine the outcome of a disability claim.

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

Related pages:

How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
What is a Social Security Disability Denial based on?
Are there ways to avoid being denied for SSI or social security disability?
What does a Disability Denial Letter from Social Security say?
Reconsideration of a Social Security Disability denial- what does it involve?
What to do if you receive notification of a Social Security Disability or SSI claim denial
If you receive a Social Security Disability Denial quickly does that mean the case is weak?
What happens if my SSI or Social Security Disability Application is denied?
Social Security Disability Denied The Reasons Why (medical denials)
Social Security Disability converting to Social Security retirement

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