How Does Social Security Decide if I'm Disabled?

In order to receive Social Security benefits, individuals who file claims must meet a number of requirements, file extensive paperwork, and be declared "disabled" by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you or someone you know is looking to file a Social Security disability claim, one of the first things you should do is understand how the Social Security Administration decides if you are disabled.

Social Security's Definition of Disability

The definition of "disability" according to Social Security is somewhat different than what most people think. The most important thing to remember is that Social Security pays benefits only to individuals with total disability – no benefits are payable for partial or short-term disability. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), on the other hand, pays benefits for partial benefits

The Social Security Administration also has a strict definition of disability based on your inability to work. Under Social security rules, you are considered disabled if:

  • You are unable to do the work you did before;
  • The SSA determines that you are unable to adjust to other work because of your condition; and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or will result in death.

Social Security also uses a step-by-step process that asks five questions to decide if you are disabled.

  1. Are you working?
  2. Is your condition severe?
  3. Is your condition listed as a disabling condition?
  4. Can you do the work you did before?
  5. Can you do any other type of work?

If you or someone you love is looking to file a Social Security disability claim, our Sacramento Social Security disability attorneys at Disability Action Advocates can help. We've helped thousands of people secure the benefits they need, and can guide you through all aspects of the claim or appeal process.

To request a FREE consultation with a Sacramento Social Security disability lawyer, call (888) 421-8705.

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