Experienced Disability Lawyers

How do I know if I’m ‘disabled’ according to SSDI law?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2023 | Social Security Disability

Some conditions cause so much physical or mental limitation that it’s obvious that the patient is disabled by any standard. Other times, things are not so clear. Does your illness, injury or condition restrict your mobility, energy and abilities to the point that you qualify as disabled for Social Security Disability (SSD) purposes, or will the Social Security Administration consider you well enough to keep working?

‘Disabled’ defined

SSA defines disability this way:

  • An inability to work due to a physical or mental impairment, or both, and
  • The impairment has lasted at least 12 months, is expected to last at least 12 months, and/or will result in your death.

In addition, it is easier to get approved for SSD if you have an impairment included in SSA’s official listing of impairments. The list is fairly long and includes physical disabilities, mental illnesses, neurological conditions and chronic illnesses. Examples include:

  • Blindness
  • Heart failure
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Several types of cancer
  • Anxiety and depression

SSA updates the list regularly, and it is not necessarily required that your condition be on the list to get approved for SSD benefits. Whatever your specific ailment or condition is, it must cause a total disability, not a partial disability that still allows you to earn more than a minimal amount of income.

Help with your SSD appeal

Proving disability generally involves evidence like your medical records and work history. But someone with a strong claim for disability benefits can still get turned down. A skilled and accomplished SSDI attorney can prepare your appeal for you and represent you at the reconsideration hearing.