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

How long does your condition have to last to qualify for disability?

What does Social Security mean by disability? The real question is how does the SSA define disability? It might surprise some individuals to learn just how specific the social security definition of disability really is.

The SSA definition of disability is generally recited as follows: an individual who is filing for either social security disability or SSI disability will be found to be disabled if the determination is made, by a disability examiner or a disability judge, that they have been unable to engage in substantial gainful work activity due to a medical condition (physical or mental in nature) that has either lasted 12 months, or can be projected to last at least 12 months.

This definition is certainly obtuse, but this is essentially what it means. To be approved for either social security disability or SSI, you must have ----

1. A condition that lasts at least 12 months (you do not have to disabled for 12 months BEFORE you apply for disability as long as the medical evidence shows that your condition WILL LAST for at least 12 months).

2. A condition that is severe enough to keep you from working entirely OR is severe enough to keep you from working and earning at least at least the SGA (substantial gainful activity) amount for a given year (to see the current amount, go to this page on substantial gainful activity).

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

Related pages:

How to file for disability in Colorado
Can you win disability if you have a job?
Approved for disability for cancer
Do Social Security Disability SSI Examiners have medical training?
Applying for Social Security Disability and Unemployment
Sleep, exercise, and diet can impact chronic pain
Will SSI deny my claim?
How long do you have To Be Out Of Work Before You Get Social Security Disability (SSD)?
Can you apply for SSI for a learning disability?
Permanent disability benefits
Eligible for disability back pay benefits
How to file for disability in South Dakota
Winning a Social Security Disability Appeal or SSI Appeal
Chronic pain and filing for disability
How long does SSDI and SSI disability take to get?

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 to check the status of my Social Security disability claim
To qualify for disability, what to prove
Preparation to win a disability hearing
Social Security Disability lawyers FAQ
How Much Income Can you Earn If you draw Social Security Disability?
What does Social Security Disability SSI pay, how much?
Social Security Disability Maximum back pay
Social Security Disability Claims and Medical Exams
What is qualifying for disability benefits based on?
Partial Social Security Disability SSI benefits
Filing for disability and financial help
Getting approved after a Social Security Disability Psychological exam
How long does it take to receive disability benefits after you are approved?
Does Social Security Disability Come With Medicaid Benefits?
Applying for Disability or SSI - How long does it take
Can you work if you get Social Security Disability?
Am I eligible to receive disability benefits?
What medical disabilities, conditions qualify for Disability Benefits?
How to get disability for degenerative disc disease
What mental problems qualify for disability?
Conditions that get approved for disability