How Does Social Security Define “Disability?”

The Social Security law uses a very specific definition of disability.   To collect disability benefits you must show that you are:

unable to engage in substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable condition or conditions that has lasted (or is expected to last) 12 consecutive months or result in death.

What on earth does this mean?   What must you prove to Social Security?

Social Security's definition of disabilitySocial Security defines disability in terms of your ability to work or perform work-like activities.   You can win your disability case if you can show that your medical problem leaves you unable to perform even a simple, entry-level type of job.

Think about it this way: if you were offered a job that requires you to sit at a table and pack ink pens into a box, could you perform that job 8 hours a day, 5 days a week?

Note that Social Security is not asking if such a job exists near where you live.  They are not asking if you have transportation to such a job.  They are not asking if you could earn enough money, or if you would be bored to tears with one of these jobs.  The only question:  if one of these entry-level, sit-stand, easy jobs existed, could you perform its duties 8 hours a day, 5 days per week.

Many people think that Social Security disability concerns itself with medical issues.  Medical problems are relevant to the extent that they create work limitations, but the real issue has to do with work capacity.  If you understand this concept, then you understand Social Security disability.

So, if you suffer with a medical condition that would prevent you from working any type of job, please call us at 866-674-8810we await the opportunity to help you.

1 thought on “How Does Social Security Define “Disability?”

  1. I don’t think many people want to be labeled disabled just to get some money. Some of the time it is a last resort when they have tried everything else to get a job or have borrowed money from anybody they could have. Hopefully before the judges scrutinize the claimant (and that’s assuming this person has tried to look for a job and has some record and doing something to effect their financial situation) that they will consider what’s is or ain’t going on in their economic area. But nobody’s niave either. There are people who will cut corners and do what they can to “get over”

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