What does “disabled” mean, anyway? According to SSA…

How does Social Security define “disabled?”

When applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must consider whether or not you are “disabled.”

What do they mean?

Here is the “cliff-notes” version of what Social Security means when they say “disabled.”

1) You must have a severe impairment;

2) You must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition(s); and

3) Your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year, or be expected to result in your death.

In other words: you CANNOT work ANY full-time job, nor earn a substantial income, because of your impairments. AND your impairments are expected to prevent you from working for at least one year or to end in death.

Social Security will look at ALL of your conditions and impairments when making a decision on your claim. Be sure that SSA knows about every condition that you are suffering from.

For more details about how “disability” is determined, see The 5 Steps to a Disability Determination.


If you are disabled and need help with your SSDI or SSI hearing, contact Deborah at The Hardin Law Firm, PLC.

ATTORNEY: Learn more about our attorneys and staff.

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this website is intended to convey general information. It should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. It is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Originally published: January 16, 2014 at thehardinlawfirm.com

Last updated: December 15, 2016 at 10:46 am