Are You Disabled Enough to Apply for Social Security in Clayton Georgia?
The key question regarding your eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits is whether you have a medical condition or combination of conditions that meets Social Security’s definition of “disability.” The criteria are very technical, but the bottom line is: if you can’t do any full time job because of a medical condition, there’s a good chance you are disabled.
In order to be considered “disabled,” all of the following must be true:
- You have a physical or mental impairment that is a “severe” condition.
- You cannot engage in “substantial gainful activity” because of that condition.
- The condition must be expected to last at least one year or to result in death.
When Is a Condition “Severe?”
To qualify for SSDI/SSI benefits you must have a “severe” medical condition that results in total disability. Benefits are not payable for partial or short-term disability.
A condition is considered severe if it interferes with basic work-related activities.
Examples of basic work-related activities include, but are not limited to, walking; sitting; standing; lifting; pushing; pulling; reaching; carrying; use of judgment; the ability to understand, remember, and carry out simple instructions; the ability to react appropriately in a typical work setting; and the ability to cope with changes in work routine.
You must have medical evidence that you are unable to perform basic work-related activities. Your statements alone will not be sufficient.
What Is Substantial Gainful Activity?
Adults seeking SSDI/SSI benefits must be unable to engage in any “substantial gainful activity.”
“Substantial” work is work that involves significant physical and/or mental activities.
“Gainful” work is:
- Work performed for pay or profit; or
- Work of a nature generally performed for pay or profit; or
- Work intended for profit, whether or not a profit is realized.
To prove you cannot perform “substantial gainful activity,” you must show that you cannot do work that you have done before (your “past relevant work”) and you are unable to adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
Your Past Relevant Work
“Past relevant work” is work you have done during the past 15 years that involved significant and productive physical and/or mental activities that you did long enough to learn how to do it.
If SSA finds that you cannot perform work that you have done in the past, SSA will consider whether or not you can adjust to any other work.
To be considered disabled, you must be unable to adjust to any other work. In most cases that means you cannot do a simple sit-down job on a full-time basis. In determining whether or not you can adjust to other work, the SSA considers all of the following:
Medical Conditions – All of your medical conditions will be considered when evaluating limitations on your ability to adjust to other work, not just the condition that is giving you the most difficulty.
Age – Advancing age is considered an increasingly limiting factor in your ability to adjust to other work. Younger people under the age of 50 do not generally have age-related limitations.
Education – The SSA will consider your formal education as well as any special job training such as trade or vocational school. Illiteracy and inability to communicate in English significantly limit an individual’s ability to adjust to other work.
Past Work Experience – The SSA will consider your performance in past work. For example, if you were unable to lift more than 30 lbs. in previous jobs, your lifting abilities are limited in adjusting to other work.
Transferrable Skills – The skills you have gained from education, training, and previous work experience will be considered when evaluating your ability to adjust to other work.
The Listing of Impairments—a Short Cut to Disability
The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a listing of physical and mental impairments that are potentially disabling. Severity criteria are provided for each impairment. If your condition is on the list of impairments and meets the severity criteria, you will be found to be disabled. SSA will not need to consider whether you can do your past work or other work. They will presume your condition is so severe that you are unable to work.
If you have a condition or combination of conditions that are not listed but are equally as severe as any of the listed impairments, you will also be considered disabled.
Your condition must be especially severe to qualify under the listing. Most people do not qualify this way and need to show they cannot do past work or other work.
When Is a Child Considered “Disabled”?
Children must satisfy different criteria to qualify for SSI. Children do not have to prove that they cannot engage in substantial gainful activity. They must only have a severe condition that results in marked and severe functional limitations that is expected to last at least one year or to result in death.
The SSA maintains a separate list of physical and mental impairments that apply to child disability. However, like with adults, if a condition or combination of conditions is not listed but is as severe as the impairments listed, the child may still be disabled.
For Help with Your Disability Claim
To apply for Social Security in Clayton, Georgia, call Adams & Associates Disability Inc. at 1-888-551-1190. We will help you complete the paperwork to make a strong application. If your claim has already been denied, we will file your appeal and represent you at your hearing.