Harlan Still & Koch

How does the Social Security Administration define disability?

Understanding how to qualify for social security disability benefits is important for many disabled individuals in Missouri and throughout the country. Disabled individuals considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits may wonder what the Social Security Administration considers to be a disability and how they can qualify for disability through the SSA's application process for benefits.

Under Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI benefits, only total disability qualifies for benefits. This means that disabled individuals suffering from a partial or temporary disability is not eligible to qualify to receive SSD benefits. The definition of disability according to the SSA is based on the disabled individual's inability to work.

Under the SSA's definition of disability, an individual may be considered disabled if, as a result of the physical or mental medical condition they suffer from, they are unable to perform the work they performed previously, they are unable to adjust to another type of work because of the medical condition they suffer from and the disability that prevents them from being able to work is expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death.

Federal regulations, including those required to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, can be tricky to work with at times. Many disabled individuals and their families rely on Social Security disability benefits to help support themselves and their families, which is why they should be familiar with how to apply, and how they can establish the disability they are suffering from, which prevents them from working, to qualify for benefits.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability Planner: What We Mean By Disability," Accessed June 20, 2017

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