Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Social Security Disability: How Does the SSA Define a ‘Disability’?

It is said that the first and foremost duty of the government is to afford protection to its citizens. However, such a duty does not only imply protection against crime, social injustices, and other dire threats, but also provides assistance in times of difficulties, particularly in the case of people who are or who become disabled. The Social Security Administration (SSA) and its Social Security Disability programs are geared toward financially assisting people with disabilities in coping with and managing their daily lives.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability

Needless to say, to ensure proper and fair disbursement of funds, social security disability (SSD) benefits are only provided to those who meet certain program criteria and qualifications. Basically, in order to receive SSD benefits, applicants must at least meet the following requirements: (1) a mental or physical impairment must be present, (2) the impairment prevents the individual from doing any substantial gainful work, and (3) the disability must last or have lasted for at least 12 months, or must be expected to result in death.

Medical Evaluation and Proof

The SSA uses the term “medically determinable” to describe its basic rule in qualifying for SSD benefits. This means that a person must have a disability or impairment that stems from physiological, anatomical, or psychological abnormalities that can be proven and shown by medically acceptable laboratory and clinical diagnostic procedures. SSD applicants must have strong medical evidence or detailed medical records that fully describe and document their condition.

Subject to SSA Evaluation

As with most insurance claims, the scope and impact of the disability on the individual will be evaluated by the SSA. The SSA will determine whether a person’s condition keeps him or her from doing the job they need prior to becoming disabled and if they are likewise unable to do other kinds of substantial gainful work, which are defined as jobs that pay at least $1,130 per month. An SSD applicant’s education, age, work experience, training, and capability to learn new skills for a new job will all be considered by the SSA.

Benefits for People with Disabilities, SSA.gov

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