Social Security Disability Benefits provide compensation to people who are unable to work due to a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or could result in death.
Federal law provides a strict definition of disability and only those who meet those guidelines will be able to receive benefits.
So how does social security decide if you are disabled? Here are the five guidelines they follow.
Are You Working? If you have been working and your average income is more than $1,000 a month, you generally won’t be considered disabled. If you are not working, Social Security will proceed to the next guideline.
Is Your Condition Severe? By severe, it simply means that your condition interferes with basic work-related activities. If not, your claim won’t be considered. If you pass the screening, Social Security would then proceed to the next question.
Is Your Condition Found in the List of Disabling Conditions? Social Security provides a list of severe medical conditions for each of the major body systems. If you are on this list, you will automatically be considered disabled. If your condition is not on the list but is determined to have equal severity with the medical conditions on the existing list, you will also be considered disabled.
If you don’t fall in any of these categories, Social security will proceed to the next guideline
Can You Do Your Work Previously? Social Security will determine if your current condition prohibits you from doing your past livelihood. If it does, they still need to assess you with the next guideline.
Can You Do Any Other Type of Work? Social Security will study your situation to see if you can adjust to a new livelihood.
You will not be considered disabled if Social Security determines:
- That you have skills that can be used for work
- The work available to you can be accomplished with your current capacity (AND)
- The work exists in significant numbers in the national economy