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    When Is a Person Considered Disabled by Social Security Disability?

    By Kenton Koszdin on April 19, 2022 | In Disability Insurance

    When Is a Person Considered Disabled by Social Security Disability?

    According to Social Security Disability, what is disability?

    For an individual to be considered disabled by Social Security Disability, the case is reviewed according to a long list of medical guidelines, regulations, and laws. According to Social Security Disability, a disabled person is impaired in one or a combination of the following aspects:

    1. Physically
    2. Psychologically
    3. Cognitively

    Due to the impairment, the individual’s work-related performance must be hindered for at least 12 months or more.

    Work and Disability

    A disability applicant must be unable to conduct substantial labor to be classified as disabled for Social Security purposes. In general, this entails working and earning less than a defined amount of monthly income to qualify for the benefits. This is also known as “Substantial Gainful Activity” (SGA).

    Here are a few important points to keep in mind regarding the SGA:

    • When seeking benefits, applicants cannot be employed and earn beyond the SGA level.
    • If a person earns more than the SGA amount, he or she will be denied Social Security disability, regardless of their disabilities or medical conditions.
    • However, disabled individuals can apply for Social Security disability benefits while working part-time, as long as they don’t earn more than the SGA amount.
    • Applicants’ work should indicate to Social Security that they are unable to work full-time.
    • Other standards may also be applied by Social Security to evaluate if someone is performing below the SGA limit.

    Medical Records to Prove Your Disability

    A disability applicant’s medical documents must show proof of the physical or mental impairment and how it restricts the applicant from working to qualify for payments. The medical evidence from the last two to three months should be made part of the record.

    Assessing the Ability to Work

    When it comes to a physical impairment, Social Security will look at the functional restrictions in the applicant’s medical records to determine if they can undertake medium, light, or sedentary work.

    Social Security will analyze whether the individual can grasp and retain instructions, remain focused, communicate correctly with others, and respond appropriately to changes or risks in the job if they have psychological, psychiatric, or cognitive impairments. Following this evaluation, Social Security will determine whether the individual is capable of working.

    If Social Security determines that the applicant is unable to return to his or her former jobs, the agency will determine if the applicant’s Residual Functional Capacity or RFC permits them to work in a new capacity. To make this decision, Social Security will use a set of rules known as the medical-vocational grid to see if the applicant is still capable of doing other jobs.

    For more information, you can reach our available resources online or consult with a disability lawyer. Call 800-438-7734 for your initial free consultation held in our office, or from the comfort of your own home. The Kenton Koszdin Law OfficeSocial Security attorneys in Van Nuys, can help you navigate through the disability claim process with ease and with the best possible outcome for you and your family.


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