Not everyone who lives with a disability is able to work and earn an income on which to support himself or herself and his or her loved ones. When a disability keeps someone out of a job, that individual may be eligible for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Those benefits can come in the form of Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.
This post will discuss the definition of disability that the Social Security Administration uses to determine if individuals are eligible for these income replacement programs.
Part 1: Substantial gainful activity
A disability according to the Social Security Administration must be one that prevents a worker from engaging in substantial gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity does not mean full unemployment. A person may be able to do some work, but if that work is not enough for him or her to live on or meet his or her necessities, it may not be substantial.
Part 2: Medically determinable condition
Next, a disability under the Social Security Administration’s definition must be one that is medically determinable and that affects the physical or mental health of the individual. The Social Security Administration maintains a list of physical and mental impairments that qualify for disability benefits and disability insurance. There are exceptions and some individuals whose disabilities do not appear on the list may still be eligible for support.
Part 3: Duration
Short-term disabilities generally do not qualify for benefits under the Social Security Administration’s programs. Other forms of support may be available to individuals who fall into this category. To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, a person’s disability must result in death or must last for at least 12 months. Therefore, disability benefits from the Social Security Administration are limited to individuals who have long-term disabling conditions.
The definition of disability maintained by the Social Security Administration is detailed and extensive. Those who apply for benefits must meet these and other requirements in order to have their applications approved. Achieving this outcome can be difficult and not all individuals are prepared to handle the intricacies of their applications on their own. Disability benefits attorneys can help individuals in this difficult situation prepare their applications and fight for the disability benefits they need to fully and successfully live their lives.
Readers should recognize that this post is informational in content and does not provide any legal advice. When addressing possible claims for disability benefits, it is important that individuals have the best possible information, which can be sought from trusted disability benefits attorneys in New Jersey, such as our firm.