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Qualifications For Social Security Claims


“Disability” as defined by the SSA is based on your inability to work. The SSA considers you disabled if:
The claimant is unable to perform work that he/she did before;
The SSA decides that the claimant cannot adjust to other work because of his/her medical condition(s); and
The claimant’s disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

What is a Qualifying Disability?

The definition of “disability” under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability; no benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide financial support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, and investments.

What is a Qualifying Impairment?

According to the SSA, “impairment” is a physical or mental condition that “results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities which can be shown by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques”. The SSA will consider past work experience, severity of medical conditions, age, education, and work skills.

Qualifying Disabilities and Impairments

If you are unsure whether you qualify for SSI benefits, take a look at the list provided by the SSA website. This is not a complete list of disabilities and impairments, so you should speak with a qualified attorney to discuss your disability and determine if you qualify for benefits. Most of the listed impairments are permanent or expected to result in death, or the listing includes a specific statement of duration. For all other listings, the evidence must show that the impairment has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. The criteria in the Listing of Impairments are applicable to evaluation of claims for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) or payments under both the SSDI and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.

The most common disabilities and impairments included in the list are:
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Disorders
  • Special Senses & Speech Disorders
  • Respiratory System Disorders
  • Cardiovascular System Disorders
  • Digestive System Disorders
  • Genitourinary System Disorders
  • Hematological Disorders
  • Skin Disorders
  • Endocrine System Disorders
  • Impairments that Affect Multiple Body Systems
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Mental Disorders
  • Malignant Neoplastic Diseases
  • Immune System Disorders 

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