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

Eligibility for Disability Benefits as Viewed by Social Security

Even when it is determined that a claimant is not currently capable of doing their former work and is not capable of switching to some other type of work, they can still be potentially denied for Social Security Disability or SSI if it is decided that their functional limitations will last less than a year.

This is where the definition of disability used by SSA (the social security administration) can be clearly seen to have an impact because the social security administration only awards disability benefits to individuals who have found to have total disability and permanent disability.

Total disability is thought to be a condition that is so severe that it effectively rules out the ability to perform substantial and gainful work activity of any kind (substantial and gainful work activity is where you earn at least a certain amount per month as seen on this page: the earnings limit for SSD and SSI).

Permanent disability is thought of by SSA as a disabling condition that might never improve but, for the purposes of approving a disability claim, must last at least one full year, or be projected to last one full year, at the time a disability claim has been decided.

To prove one's eligibility for disability benefits, either from SSD or SSI, their medical records must verify that they have a disabling condition that will be disabling for a period of not less than one full year. Therefore, a claimant who hopes to win disability benefits must provide solid medical records and if their claim is being heard by an administrative law judge at a disability hearing, either they or their disability lawyer should attempt to obtain a supporting statement from one of the claimant's treating physicians.

However, proving that you are disabled and eligible to receive Social Security Disability or SSI benefits also means proving that your current limitations make it impossible to do the work you have done in the past, and also make it impossible to do any other kind of work that might rely upon your particular job experience, as well as your level of education, and current physical and mental capacity.

This is why the social security administration asks those who are filing for disability to complete a work history questionaire. And it is also why being fully prepared for a disability hearing is essential since, on prior decisions, made at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels, disability examiners will have either misidentified a person's past jobs, or failed to consider the nature and duties of one or more of the claimant's past jobs (for example, there is a considerable difference in skill between driving a small delivery truck versus driving a tractor-trailer truck).

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?

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?

Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Wisconsin?

If you apply for disability in in Wisconsin

Getting a Disability Lawyer in Wisconsin

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.