Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P.


How is 'disability' defined for obtaining SSD benefits?

Having a debilitating injury or illness can be difficult, physically, emotionally and financially. If a person in Killeen has a medical condition that prevents them from working, they may want to seek Social Security disability benefits. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a very strict definition of disability for the purpose of obtaining SSD benefits. This is because SSD benefits are only available to those who are totally disabled, not those who are only partially disabled.

Per the SSA, the definition of disability is based upon the applicant's ability (or inability) to work. To be considered disabled, the applicant must meet several criteria. First of all, the applicant must not be able to perform the work he or she did before due to his or her injury or illness. Second of all, the applicant must not be able to perform a different type of work due to his or her injury or illness. Finally, the applicant's injury or illness must last at least 12 months or be fatal.

The reason the definition of disability for the purposes of SSD benefits is based on a person's ability to work is that the SSA assumes that those who work have other financial resources to rely on, such as health insurance, investments, savings accounts or workers' compensation benefits. However, oftentimes when a person cannot work for such a long period of time due to a health issue, they no longer have access to these resources, prompting them to seek SSD benefits.

SSD benefits can be the financial lifeline one needs to make ends meet if a prolonged, serious medical condition prevents them from working. However, in order to increase one's chances for success, one may want to seek the help of an attorney when applying for disability benefits.

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