Will my medical condition be considered a disability for Social Security benefits?
It is important to note that the Social Security Administration has a very different set of rules for determining what a “disability” is. A medical condition that you or others might commonly refer to as a disability may not necessarily be a disability in the eyes of Social Security. Even a condition that is considered a disability under some forms of insurance may not fall under the guidelines of Social Security.
Social Security will consider your condition a disability if:
–they determine that because of your condition you are unable to perform the work you did before;
–they also determine that you are unable to perform other work due to your condition; and
–your condition must be severe enough that it has lasted for at least a year, it is expected to last for at least a year, or will result in death.
To be severe enough for Social Security benefits, you first must either not be working or, if you are working, you must be earning below what is referred to as ”Substantial Gainful Activity (or “SGA”). In 2019, that means you should not be earning more than $1220 per month before taxes. In 2020, that amount goes up to $1260 per month before taxes.
Next, your condition must be severe enough that it keeps you from doing basic work functions such as lifting, sitting, standing, concentrating for at least 12 months. If it does, then the Social Security Administration will see if your condition meets a “listing”, that is a specific list of impairments that have certain guidelines for determining that a condition is severe enough to qualify for disability benefits. If your condition does not meet a listing, you can still go on to the next step which has to do with your previous work.
Social Security will review your past jobs and what they entailed, including the level of skill and the demands they required. If they determine that you are unable to perform your past jobs, then they will proceed to take a look at other jobs and determine if you are able to perform any other work. If they determine that you are not able to perform other work, then they will determine that you are eligible for disability benefits.
For help with your Social Security disability claim, please contact us at Hoglund Law Social Security Disabilty.