If you have a long-term sickness or a disability that is affecting your ability to work, you may consider filing for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Before you do, it’s important to understand exactly what the Social Security Administration (SSA) says makes you disabled.
The definition of disability used by the Social Security Administration (SSA)
When applying for benefits under the SSA, you will need to prove that:
- You have a severe, pervasive condition that prevents you from doing both your current (or most recent) occupation and any other job for which you may be qualified.
- Your condition has either already lasted a year, is expected to last for a year or will likely end in death.
This generally means that you need to give SSA information about your education, your work history and any special training you may have in addition to your medical history.
Is there a specific list of conditions SSA considers disabling?
SSA does maintain a list of medical conditions that are considered disabling — as long as you meet the very narrow criteria within a given category.
While having a “listed” condition can make it easier to gain approval on your claim, you do not have to have a listed condition to qualify for benefits. SSA will take the sum total of all of your conditions and limitations into account when evaluating your claim. For that reason, it’s important to list every issue you have on your application.
If you are suffering from a disability and you want to gain SSA benefits so that you can support yourself financially, it is important that you take action to understand how the rules apply to your situation.