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 You Possibly Get Less Than Total Disability From Social Security?

Social Security disability is not a partial or percentage disability program. The definition of Social Security disability holds that a disability is a physical or mental condition that has prevented a person from performing substantial gainful activity (work) for at least twelve month, or is expected to prevent SGA for twelve months.

SGA, or substantial gainful activity can be defined as a monthly earnings amount that Social Security considers self-supporting.

To qualify for disability a person must not be able to perform any of their past work (work they have performed in the past fifteen years that was at the SGA-level and which lasted three months or more) or any other work due to the limitations caused by their disability.

Unlike partial disability programs such as Veteranís Administration disability, Social Security disability does not award partial disability benefits based on a percentage of disability.

Social Security is not like short term disability or long term disability benefits provided by employers, in that, to be awarded disability benefits through Social Security or SSI, an individual must not only be unable to perform their usual line of work, but other kinds of work as well. For this reason, an individual will never receive less than total disability from Social Security.

It was my experience as a disability examiner that many individuals who were eligible for veteranís benefits or long term employer disability benefits sometimes had a hard time being approved for Social Security disability, simply because the criteria for Social Security disability determinations are much stricter than criteria used to make long term disability or veteranís disability determinations.

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

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?
Will my SSI or SSDI claim be denied if my spouse makes too much?

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