Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI

In claims where at least one condition is judged to be severe, the disability examiner or judge will determine whether or not the claimant's condition is severe enough to keep them from engaging in work activity while earning at least a substantial and gainful income.

Remember that for social security administration purposes, a claimant is allowed to work and earn income while either apply for disability or receiving disability. However, for such individuals, the qualifications criteria mandates that their condition must be severe enough that, although they can work, they cannot earn at least a substantial and gainful income (to see the definition of this, see SGA).

If a person has a severe condition that prevents them from earning a substantial and gainful income, will it result in their being given a social security disability award (or SSI award as the case may be)?

Not necessarily. The impact of a claimant's condition on their ability to work must last for at least one full year. And even if the individual is awarded disability benefits, they will still periodically undergo a review of their claim to determine if they are still disabled.

This is because the social security administration views disability as "permanent disability". And currently the benchmark for determining if a condition is permanently disabling is to see if it has lasted a full year, or, through a projection, determining if it will last a full year.

How does a disability examiner or a disability judge determine whether or not a claimant's condition will be severe enough to prevent substantial and gainful work activity for at least one full year?

To some extent, this is a subjective call. It certainly always relies on the information that is recorded in the claimant's medical records. Unfortunately, most medical records do little to document the following:

A) If a claimant's condition is disabling;

B) What limitations and physical and mental restrictions result from the claimant having a particular condition;

C) How long the condition will last;

D) What impact the claimant's condition will have on their ability to engage in normal daily activities, including work activity.

Because most doctor's notes do not provide this type of information in any abundance (if at all), it is generally wise for a claimant (or the claimant's disability lawyer if they have one) to try to obtain a detailed statement from a doctor.

Such statements are often ignored by disability examiners who do not give a claimant's treating physician the proper weight; however, at a disability hearing an administrative law judge will generally pay close attention to a physician's statement if it is detailed and essentially conforms to the information recorded in that same doctor's treatment notes.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    Qualifications for Disability Benefits
    SSI disability qualifications for Adults and Children
    Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
    Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications - What is the examiner looking for?
    Social Security Disability Attorney Qualifications and Expenses
    What are the disability qualifications in North Carolina?

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

    Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
    How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
    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?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
    Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria