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How Does the Social Security Administration Decide if I'm Disabled?

How Does the Social Security Administration Decide if I'm Disabled?

| Jul 17, 2014

If you or someone you love is looking to apply for Social Security disability, it is important to understand the requirements you must meet in order to obtain benefits. At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our disability attorneys can help you understand how Social Security decides if you're disabled and whether you may be able to receive benefits.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the agency uses a different definition of "disability" than most people would use when determining if an applicant is eligible for disability benefits. This definition focuses on a person's condition and how it affects their ability to work and earn a living.

Social Security will consider you disabled if:

  • You can't do the work you did before your injury / condition; and
  • You're unable to adjust to other forms of work due to your condition; and
  • Your disability has lasted for at least one year, is expected to last at least one year, or will result in death.

Meeting this strict definition of disability is only part of the process. Additionally, it is important to remember that Social Security only pays benefits for total disabilities. There are no benefits available for partial or short-term disability.

Aside from meeting the definition of disability, Social Security will also use a multi-step approach to determining your eligibility for benefits. Below is a breakdown of the questions Social Security focuses on during this process:

  • Are you currently working?
  • If your condition / disability severe?
  • Is you condition listed as a disabling condition?
  • Are you able to do the past work you did before?
  • Are you able to do any other type of work in the national economy?

Although these questions give you a better idea of the criteria Social Security uses to determine if you're disabled, there is of course a lot more that goes into qualifying, including a great deal of paperwork, medical records, and evidence of your condition. Our attorneys can help you with these issues during the disability application or appeal process.

If you have questions about Social Security disability, your eligibility, and how our firm can help, give us a call to request a free case review. We're here to help, and we work with clients throughout South Carolina!

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