While you can get Social Security disability for many impairments, applying for benefits with several conditions is often more complicated than applying for a single disabling condition. For example, the durational requirement is more complex: you will have to prove that your condition is expected to last for a year or more (or has already lasted for the past 12 months). If you have multiple impairments, you may be able to combine them to satisfy the 12-month requirement; however, you must provide proper documentation for each impairment.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will have to examine how much work you are able to do despite your many conditions. This measurement, called your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC), is calculated based on your:

  • Exertional restrictions. Activities that require strength or physical endurance can include standing, walking, lifting, carrying, or holding.
  • Non-exertional restrictions. These activities are still physical, but can be affected by limited range of motion, such as reaching, bending, or fine-motor movements.
  • Mental restrictions. If you have mental or emotional restrictions, SSA will examine how much your condition affects your ability to process information, cope with stress, make work-related decisions, and interact with others.
  • Environmental restrictions. Some applicants may be limited in the types of areas where they can safely perform work, such as sensitivity to heat, cold, lights, smells, vibrations, or fumes.

The SSA is required to consider how all of your impairments affect you separately, as well as how they interact, in order to assign you an RFC that is a fair assessment of your abilities. However, SSA may still claim that there are some jobs you can do despite your limitations, so it is up to you to prove the extent of your disability.

We Can Help Gather Your Medical Evidence to Present a Strong Application

No matter how many times you have applied for Social Security, our disability lawyers may be able to help you get the benefits you deserve. Email us today at [email protected] or fill out the quick contact form on this page to get started.


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska