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

Can you Get Disability if you can do Some Normal Daily Activities?

There are many people who perform some level of volunteer work, yet receive disability benefits. That's because occasional volunteer work and occasional exercise does not correspond to the demands of having to show up at a job each and every day and perform prescribed work duties for 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, week-in, week-out, over the course of years.

The question, for federal disability benefits, is not whether someone is a complete invalid or lacks the ability to comprehend. I say that because, believe it or not, there are thousands of "rational" individuals out there who hold the notion that a person with a disabling condition should be this bad off, or worse, before filing for benefits (I'm sure that opinion changes when and if they themselves develop a disability that prevents them from working and earning a substantial, gainful income).

The question, for federal disability benefits, is whether or not a person is capable of sustaining paid competitive employment. It's for this reason that the social security administration actually attempts to quantify the process in certain ways.

Yes, the Social security administration does look at the claimant's medical records to determine:

A) what their condition is,

B) how severe it is,

C) what the outlook is,

---However, since the decision process is medical and vocational in nature, it also looks at the claimant's past work history, age, education, and skills to determine:

1. Can the claimant return to one of the jobs contained within their past relevant work history?
2. Can the claimant transition to some form of other work?

Included in the process of determining this question (is the person capable of sustaining paid competitive employment?) are concepts such as unsuccessful work attempts, trial work months, expedited reinstatements, and extended periods of eligibility. All in all, the process is far more complicated and layered than most applicants for disability benefits could possibly imagine.

However, it all boils down this: becoming eligible for disability benefits (for those who are applying and for those who are currently receiving) has a lot do with measuring current work activity, past work activity, and the possibility of transitioning to other types of work.

Basically, the disability claim decision process means not just reading a claimant's medical record documentation, but attempting to measure their ability to engage in work activity, at a substantial and gainful level, either of the kind they've done before...or in types of work for which their vocational profile might suit them.

For this reason, as I've stated before, it's fairly important for a claimant to supply a detailed work history, complete with dates, job titles, and descriptions of work activities, along with a detailed history of medical treatment.

It may also benefit someone whose case will be appealed to review the prior decision that was made to determine if the first adjudicator (the disability examiner who handled the initial claim) did an accurate job of identifying the claimant's past work since this can have a definite impact on the decisional outcome of an SSD or SSI disability claim.

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

Related pages:

How to file for disability in Michigan
After you file disability forms
How are Are Social Security And Social Security Disability different?
Doing the next disability appeal
Filing for disability with MS, multiple Sclerosis
Questions asked at a social security disability or SSI hearing?
Steps and Tips for requesting a disability hearing
Can you Receive Disability Benefits and have Assets, Investments, a Savings Account?
How many days do you have to file a disability appeal?
What are some Social Security Disability and SSI myths?
Preparation to win a disability hearing
How Does Social Security Decide If You Are Disabled
If I get disability will my children receive benefits?
Endometriosis and Filing for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI - Retroactive Benefits Vs Back Pay Benefits

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

My Social Security Disability SSI appeal status
Disability back pay, how it works
Eligibility criteria requirements for disability
Qualifying requirements for disability
Decision on disability case, are you eligible for a disability award
When is a Person Considered Disabled by Social Security?
Forms to appeal a Social Security Disability denial
Permanent disability benefits
How to qualify for disability with depression
If Social Security sends you to a psychiatrist
Disability denied twice
How to claim disability
How many times will Social Security deny you?
Applying for Disability with high blood pressure
Will my children get benefits if I get approved for disability?
How much time for a decision on a disability claim?
Can you work if you get an SSI disability check?
How to File for SSI
Filing for disability, how to apply for SSD, SSI
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
How to get disability
How to appeal a disability denial