A quick explanation of what SSA means by "disabled" and "disability"

Here's a quick explanation of these concepts and for more you can visit the following pages:

1. How Does Social Security Decide If You Are Disabled Or Not?
2. If Am Medically Disabled, Can Social Security Still Turn Me Down?
3. How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
4. When is a Person Considered Fully Disabled by Social Security?
5. Being Determined Medically Disabled for Social Security Disability

1. First, there is the requirement that, to be found eligible for disability benefits, a claimant cannot have earnings that exceed the annual limit for substantial gainful activity (i.e., you can be working when you apply for disability, you just can't make over a specific dollar amount.

2. Second, an impairment must be medically determinable. This is simply another way of saying that a claimant's medical condition must be documented by medical evidence.

3. Third, a physical or mental impairment must satisfy a durational length before a person can be approved for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability or SSI program. That durational length is twelve months meaning that a claimant's condition must be disabling for at least this long (or must be projected to be disabling for at least this long) before disability benefits may be awarded.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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