Wednesday, April 14, 2021
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What is the definition of a disability?

The law defines disability as the inability to do any substantial gainful activity due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months

Do I qualify?

You must have a severe impairment which makes you:


  • unable to do your previous job or
  • any other substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy.


To determine if you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at the following criteria:


Social Security provides income to individuals in need. In order to be eligible for Social Security Benefits, you cannot have earned or now be earning an average of $1,000 per month or more during the first 12 months of your disability.

Inability to Work

To be eligible for Social Security Benefits, your disability must prevent you from performing work-related activities. If your disability has lasted, or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death, the SSA will also consider you disabled.

Qualifying Disability

To be considered disabled by the SSA and eligible for SSDI, your disability must be on their List of Impairments. If your medical condition is not listed by the SSA, you may still qualify for SSI or SSDI.

Inability to Perform Previous Work and Inability to Adjust to Other Work

If you cannot do work that that you did before and the Social Security Administration has decided that you cannot adjust to other work because your medical condition(s), the SSA will consider you disabled.


To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the SSA must consider you insured. If you have worked five of the last ten years, you are most likely insured. Note: This time requirement is less for younger applicants. In general, applicants for SSDI who have been employed will be insured.

* If you are disabled but not insured, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI Disability) if your income is below a certain amount.

If you have questions about how this applies to your unique situation, contact the Law Office of Rebecca Sposita, PLLC.