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When is a Person Considered Disabled by Social Security Disability?

November 19, 2018

Decker Law Office. The Social Security Administration defines a “disabled” individual as someone who cannot maintain substantial employment. In 2018, the SSA considered substantial employment (substantial gainful activity) as employment providing a person with at least $1180 each month. People seeking Social Security disability cannot be earning more than $1180 per month when initially applying for benefits. However, some claimants may be able to continue working while awaiting a decision from the SSA.

What Medical Evidence is Needed to be Considered a Disabled Person?

Social Security disability applicants must submit clinical evidence of mental or physical impairments (functional limitations) that prevents them from working. Medical records should be current and include recent laboratory tests (past 60 to 90 days) and physician’s reports. Additionally, health records must prove the applicants have suffered from the disability for at least one year. If the SSA determines a disabled person’s medical problem is severe enough to meet requirements of the SSA listing for that specific impairment, the SSA will automatically approve benefits. If not, then the SSA will evaluate the claimant’s medical and employment records to decide what kind of work the applicant may be capable of doing.

What Kind of Disabling Conditions are Listed in the SSA’s Blue Book?

The Blue Book is the guide the SSA uses to determine if someone is a disabled person. Some of the disabling medical conditions listed in the Blue Book are:

  • Respiratory disorders (COPD, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis)
  • Musculoskeletal disorders (advanced arthritis, muscular dystrophy, lupus)
  • Cardiovascular disorders (heart disease, vein diseases)
  • Digestive system disorders (Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome, stomach cancer)
  • Neurological disorders (autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy)
  • Mental disorders (schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder)

Does the SSA Pay Disability Benefits to All People Who Cannot Work?

No, the SSA does not approve applications just because someone is unable to work. There are dozens of reasons why the SSA may deny benefits to people who have a severe medical issue. To avoid delays with your Social Security disability application, call Decker Law Office today to schedule an appointment with an experienced disability attorney.