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Homepage >> Disability >> Social Security Disability FAQs >> SSA Defined “Disabled”

Understanding What “Disabled” Means for Purposes of Obtaining SSD Benefits throughout California, Nevada and the West

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are only available to those individuals who have suffered a “total” disability. But, how do you know if your illness or injury satisfies this requirement? This page provides a summary of the Social Security Administration’s test for determining whether your illness or injury entitles you to SSD benefits. To discuss your personal circumstances with an attorney who can help you obtain the benefits you deserve, please use the link below to contact David Allen & Associates today.

Am I Considered Disabled Enough to File for Social Security Disability?

As a threshold issue, in order to qualify for SSD benefits, your disability must be expected to either last at least one year or cause premature death. If you will be better in less than a year, then you are not considered disabled “enough” to file for Social Security Disability. If you meet this first requirement, and if you have enough work credits, then you must satisfy the Social Security Administration’s four-part test for obtaining SSD:
  • Your physical or mental condition must prohibit you from performing your basic work-related activities as you did prior to becoming disabled. This is known as the “severity” requirement.
  • You must determine whether your condition appears on the Social Security Administration’s list of medical conditions that automatically qualify as total disability. Examples of conditions on the list include back injuries, mental illness, and certain types of arthritis.
  • If your physical or mental condition is not on the list, then it must be determined whether your condition rises to the same level of severity as the listed conditions and/or interferes with your ability to maintain your existing employment.
  • Finally, even if you cannot maintain your existing employment, the Social Security Administration will evaluate whether your age, education, skills, and experience may allow you to adjust to a new career. If so, your claim for SSD benefits will be denied.
If you meet all of the requirements, then you are eligible to file for Social Security Disability with our lawyers in Oakland and Sacramento. As you can see, just understanding what it means to be disabled can be a daunting task – let alone actually filing for SSD benefits. Our attorneys will walk you through the process every step of the way.

Our Attorneys will Fight for the SSD Benefits You Deserve

Please click here to see if you qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits, or call (877) 876-4800 to schedule a confidential, no-obligation appointment with an attorney at David Allen & Associates. You are always welcome to discuss your disability case at any of our offices with one of our Sacramento or Oakland Social Security and disability lawyers.






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