How is disability defined by the Social Security Administration?

| Jul 6, 2021 | Social Security Disability Benefits

A disability can cause serious impediments to a person’s ability to work. Although some disabled Californians are able to find careers that are both financially gainful and personally fulfilling, others struggle to make ends meet as they fight to find work they can perform. When a disability keeps a person out of a job, they may be eligible for benefits from the Social Security Administration.

To gain benefits, a person must meet the entity’s definition of disabled. This post will discuss that definition, but as with all posts on this blog, readers are reminded that no legal advice is provided herein. It can be helpful for those struggling with disabilities to talk to disability benefits attorneys about their options under the law.

Substantial gainful employment

One of the first elements of the definition concerns the ability of a person to find substantially gainful employment. This does not mean any employment. If a person cannot make enough money to pay for their necessities, their employment may not prevent them from seeking disability benefits. The reason for the individual’s inability to have substantial gainful employment must be because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment.

Scope of disability

Another element of the definition concerns the duration or scope of the individual’s disabling condition. To qualify for disability benefits, a person must suffer from a disability that will result in death or will last for at least 12 months. If a disability will resolve in less than a year, then the individual may not qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

There are many steps that disabled Americans must take to secure disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. It is often useful for those seeking benefits to seek the support and counsel of trusted benefits attorneys. Individuals who work in this field of law are knowledgeable about the many requirements disabled people must fulfill to receive the benefits that they need.