How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

What does the social security administration definition of disability actually say?

What does the social security administration definition of disability actually say? To be considered disabled by SSA, for either Social Security Disability or SSI disability benefits, a person must:

1. Have a severe impairment that is medically documented.

2. The impairment must either have lasted for a full year or be projected to last for a full year.

3. The impairment must be severe enough to prevent the individual from working and earning a substantial and gainful income, or SGA, while doing either one of their former jobs (which could potentially be any of their past work performed within the last 15 jobs), or while doing some type of other work that they might be suited for based on their age, job skills, education, and functional capacity.

So, to recap, to qualify for disability benefits with SSA, your condition must satisfy a one year requirement. It must last this long, or be thought to eventually last this long. The severity of the condition must also rule out the ability to work at a certain level, which is the SGA earning level (see the link in the preceding paragraph to see how SGA is defined). If a condition is this severe, a person may qualify for SSD benefits or qualify for SSI disability benefits.

Proving this level of severity, of course, depends on both the information in the claimant's medical records and on properly presenting the case (particularly at a disability hearing where the burden of gathering evidence and statements from physicians falls entirely upon the claimant and/or their disability attorney).

Many claimants are surprised to learn this because at the disability application level, the social security administration, through a disability examiner who has been assigned to the case, will gather records from all the treatment sources indicated by the claimant on the application. This is also what happens when a different disability examiner processes the claimant's request for reconsideration appeal.

At the hearing level, though, social security does not obtain evidence on behalf of the case. And many claimants who choose to go to their hearing unrepresented do not learn or realize this fact until they actually show up at the hearing office; whereas claimants who have representation will typically have had updated records submitted to the administrative law judge before the hearing occurs.

And, often, a claimant's attorney will continue to work on obtaining additional medical evidence in the form of records or physician statements if such evidence will bolster a case and improve the chances of winning benefits.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

What is the Social Security definition of disability?
How does social security define disability?
What does social security mean by disability, i.e. what is the definition?
What does the social security administration definition of disability actually say?
What is a disability according to the Social Security Administration?
Why is the Social Security Administration definition of disability so strict?
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in New York
Getting a Disability Lawyer in New York
How do Disability Lawyers in New York get paid their fees?

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.