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Severe Impairment

When an individual applies for Social Security Disability benefits, the individual must be able to prove that he or she has a severe impairment that leaves them unable to perform substantial gainful work activity. If an individual does not suffer from a severe impairment, the SSA will not approve the applicant for Social Security Disability benefits.

There are different ways in which an individual can prove that he or she is suffering from a severe impairment in order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. In order to qualify, the individual must have sufficient objective medical evidence showing that he or she suffers from one or more impairments that result in an inability to work. Even if the impairments that an individual suffers from, each alone, do not qualify the individual for Social Security Disability benefits, the individual may still qualify for benefits if the condition of the individual is determined to be a severe impairment when those conditions are combined.

A severe impairment, defined by the SSA, is an impairment or combination of impairments that significantly limit the individual’s physical or mental abilities and, as a result, interfere with the individual’s ability to perform basic work activities. If an impairment or combination of impairments does not significantly limit the individual’s ability to work, the SSA will determine that the individual is not suffering from a severe impairment and that individual will be denied the Social Security Disability benefits that they are applying for.

In many cases, if you are filing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits, it is worth working with a Social Security Disability attorney in order to increase your chances of approval. This attorney will understand what evidence the SSA needs in order to determine that there is indeed a severe impairment, which can increase your chances of receiving an approval of benefits during the initial stage of the application process.