The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers a condition that keeps you from working for at least 12 months to be a disability. If you cannot work and earn the substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount, and if you cannot do the work that you previously did, you may qualify for disability benefits. Here is a closer look at what is a disability and how you can qualify for monthly disability benefits from the SSA.
What Does the SSA Consider To Be a Severe Disability?
So, what medical conditions automatically qualify for disability, and what does the SSA consider to be a "severe disability"? The SSA considers a condition to be severe if it limits the individual’s ability to do basic work-related activities. Those activities include standing, lifting, walking, or remembering. Those limitations must last, or be expected to last, for a minimum of 12 months. If the condition does not last 12 months, it is not a qualifying disability.
If your condition doesn’t interfere with your basic work-related duties, the disability examiner will check to see if your medical condition is found among the disabling conditions that are listed in the Blue Book, which is the medical guide used by the SSA to determine if a claimant is disabled.
When Is My Condition Considered a Disability?
The Blue Book has dozens of disabling conditions listed and each are divided into sections that apply to specific bodily systems. Each condition has very specific criteria that must be met for a claim to be approved. If you have supporting evidence and medical documentation that confirms the severity of your condition and that it meets those specific criteria, your claim will be approved.
If you are unable to work, but you cannot meet the criteria of a Blue Book listing, the SSA will try to determine if you are able to do the work you have done in the past at your job, or if you are capable of performing the duties of some other job. If you can prove you are unable to work, your claim will be approved, and you will be awarded disability benefits.
Getting Your Claim Underway
If you are unable to work because of a disabling medical condition, you should gather all supporting documentation that backs up your claim and that shows the severity of your medical condition. A disability attorney can be an asset throughout the claims process and can help you gather all the necessary medical documentation.
You can start your claim or by calling 1-800-772-1213 and speaking with a representative. A disability lawyer can file your claim, or if you have filed your claim, an attorney can help you maneuver the claims process after your claim has been denied and if appeals must be filed.
A disability lawyer can help determine if you have enough documentation and the best way to proceed with your disability claim. Monthly disability benefits can be used to cover basic living expenses and for the cost of your medical care. Fill out a Free Case Evaluation on this page to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.