You may have an idea in your head about what it means to be disabled, but there is not one single definition that is used consistently. Generally speaking, a disability is a mental or physical impairment that limits peoples’ daily activities—such as the ability to work or to move. Even partial or temporary disabilities can be life changing.
However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not include partial or temporary disabilities in its definition of the word “disability”. Instead, Social Security disability benefits are only awarded to people who are permanently and completely disabled.
What Does the SSA Mean?
According to the SSA, you have a disability that could qualify you for Social Security disability benefits if you:
- Have a mental or physical health condition that will either last for longer than one year or that will result in death.
- Have a health condition that does not allow you to do the work you did before you became disabled.
- Cannot do other work because of your health condition.
Even if you know that you are disabled and cannot work, you must still prove to the SSA that your condition falls under their strict definition of disability. You can accomplish this by presenting your medical records and other evidence during the application process.
The majority of initial applications are denied. Many of these applications are denied because there is an error on the application or the supporting documentation that prevents the applicant from proving that he is disabled according to the SSA’s unique and strict definition of that word.
Don’t Let This Happen to You
If you are truly disabled—according to the SSA’s definition of disability—you deserve the benefits you’ve worked for and earned. Thus, we encourage you to contact our experienced lawyers today. Do not wait and try to fill out your application on your own. Instead, save yourself the hassle of completing the application and potentially needing to appeal a denied claim. Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your rights and to find out more about how we can help you get the benefits you deserve.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.