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To be awarded disability in South Carolina, do I have to be disabled for a whole year?



 
I came across a question on one site that was sent in by a reader. The question went something like this: "I was told that I have to have a disability that lasts a year. But do I actually have to be disabled for a year to get Social Security Disability approved in South Carolina?"

When I find questions like this, it becomes very clear to me that social security does not do an adequate job of explaining their definition of disability (but, in all honesty, this can be a fairly difficult thing to do, considering how detailed that definition is).

Perhaps this is a good way to explain it, or at least to begin to explain it. From the social security administration's standpoint, the actual condition with which you've been diagnosed is somewhat irrelevant. Likewise, the length of time you've had this condition may be equally irrelevant.

If that's true, then what makes you disabled for Social Security Disability or SSI disability?

Bottom line, it is this: your inability to work and earn a certain minimum level of income (known as substantial gainful activity), as a result of your condition, for a minimum of twelve months.

A more detailed way of explaining it however, would be this:

Your condition, or various conditions, must result in functional limitations (as measured by social security, after an analysis of your medical records) that 1. preclude your ability to engage in work that you've done in the past, while earning a certain minimum amount (substantial gainful activity) and 2. preclude your ability to engage in suitable forms of other work, as determined by your age, work skills, educational attainment, and rated functional limitations, again while earning a certain minimum amount (substantial gainful activity).

And, of course, this "state of disability" must last for at least one full year (though it does not have to have lasted a full year before you file for disability).








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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.