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 the severity of a condition determine if you can get approved for disability?

In a prior post, I mentioned an online discussion that I took part in. One of the participants in the discussion was from England and one of his questions about the U.S. disability system was this: "Surely the help that people are entitled to depends on the severity of the condition?"


Severity of a disabling condition
What does the Severity of your impairment have to do with Your Disability Claim?
What does SSA consider a severe impairment for Social Security Disability or SSI?

And the answer to the question is Yes. In the U.S. disability system (the social security disability and SSI programs), the primary factor that determines whether or not an individual will receive disability benefits is severity. In other words, the name of a diagnosed condition is not the preeminent factor. What is more important is the severity of the condition (which can be physical or mental) and how it affects the individual.

For social security disability and SSI, how a condition affects an individual is referred to in terms of residual functional capacity (which simply means "what a person can still do even with their condition").

To distill this in the simplest terms, the disability system works like this---To be approved for disability benefits, a person must have a severe condition that prevents them from engaging in past work (one of the jobs they've done in the past) and also prevents them from engaging in a form of other work for a period of at least twelve months. This is how severity is measured and this is how a state of disability is determined by the social security administration.

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

Related pages:

How to file for disability in Oklahoma OK
How does age affect a Social Security Disability or SSI case?
Applying for disability based on stroke, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, and fatigue
Filing for disability with congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy
Time to get a scheduled disability hearing date, or court date
Can you file for disability with Hypothyroidism?
Filing for disability with carpal tunnel syndrome
Filing for disability with Post polio syndrome
Applying for disability with Schizophrenia
Can I get disability for Rheumatoid arthritis?
How much money will I get for disability if I get approved?
SSI back pay benefits
Can a letter from a doctor get you approved for disability?
Social Security Disability, SSI, and autoimmune disorders
Tips for Getting Disability Approved

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

How and why to check Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability back pay
Non medical requirements for disability
Qualifying for disability, SSD SSI
When does social security consider you eligible for disability benefits?
Who qualifies for SSI?
Forms to complete when filing, applying for disability
How long does SSDI and SSI disability take to get?
Filing for disability with Depression
Can You Get Approved For SSI or SSD Benefits with a Mental Condition
How long for a disability judge to make a decision?
While you are in your disability interview
The SSD and SSI definition of disability
Filing for disability with carpal tunnel syndrome
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Can you work if you get a disability check?
Disability application denied
File for disability, the application
How to get disability benefits
Conditions that get approved for disability
How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security