How does Social Security define "disability"?

If you are applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, you must be suffering from a total disability. This is different than applying for partial disability or short-term disability through your state government or another private program. Social Security counts on other resources to provide support during periods that you have a temporary disability—this could include workers' compensation, insurance, savings and investments.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a very strict definition of disability as it applies to the benefits they pay. According to the SSA, a disability means:

  • You cannot do work that you did before.
  • Your doctors have determined that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical conditions.
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

The SSA has a five-step process that helps officials determine whether you are eligible for disability benefits. Part of that process is seeing if your medical condition is found on the list of disabling conditions. There are many types of impairment on this list; they include both physical and mental conditions, and cover every body system. The key factor for all of these conditions is that they are permanent, or they are expected to result in death, or are expected to continue for at least 12 months.

If you need assistance filing for Social Security disability, call 402-933-5405 to contact the Omaha law office of Cuddigan Law for a free consultation.