The definition of the word definition is this: an exact statement or description of the nature, scope, or meaning of something. Definitions can be frustrating when you’re taking vocabulary tests in school, but in the legal world and the government, they’re essential elements of any law or program. If a word’s definition is not clarified for and understood by everyone involved, the word could be stretched and molded to mean things it was never intended to mean. That’s why understanding the Social Security definition of disability is so important. If you believe that you qualify for disability, read on to compare your situation to the true Social Security definition of disability and confirm that you’re eligible.
Social Security Definition of Disability
The Social Security definition of disability (taken straight from the administration’s website) is this:
“Disability” under Social Security is based on your inability to work. We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if:
- You cannot do work that you did before.
- We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
This definition is strict and unflinching, as it should be. If Social Security hadn’t defined the term, many unqualified people would end up receiving disability benefits and the program would run amok.
It is also important to note that Social Security doesn’t offer benefits to individuals who have a short-term disability and they don’t allow for partial disability. You must have a permanent disability to receive compensation.
In addition to meeting the definition above, it’s important that your work history prior to your disability meets Social Security’s standards. If you haven’t worked recently and you didn’t work for a long time before you were disabled, you won’t qualify for disability benefits. To determine if you are eligible, Social Security has a system based on work credits, which are determined by your yearly income. In 2014, an individual can earn one credit for every $1,200 of income, and you can only earn 4 credits each year. The number of credits you need to qualify for disability depends on your age. For details, click here.
When Social Security is deciding if you meet their definition of disabled, they will evaluate the following five items:
- Are you working?
- Is your condition severe?
- Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
- Can you do the work you did previously?
- Can you do any other type of work?
Your answers will sway the administration’s decision. They will consider your medical condition, your age, education, past work experience, and work skills as well.
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If you’re wondering if your physical/mental limitation and work history meet the Social Security definition of disability, contact BTS Group, Inc. Our disability representatives can help you figure out if you qualify for disability and we would be happy to help you apply, build your case, monitor your case status, and ultimately win the disability benefits you deserve. If you’re ready to see if you may qualify, click here to contact us and receive a free case evaluation.