The Social Security Administration defines “disability” as follows:
“The inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
In determining whether or not you are disabled, the Social Security Administration uses the following criteria to decide your eligibility for benefits:
Are you working?
If you are working and your earnings are more than a certain amount each month, then you are not disabled.
Is your condition “severe”?
If your condition does not interfere with basic work-related activities, then you are not disabled.
Is your condition on the List of Impairments?
The List of Impairments includes medical conditions that are so severe that they automatically mean that you are disabled. If your condition is not on the list or if your condition is not equal in severity to a medical condition that is on the list, then you are not disabled.
Can you do your past work?
Your medical condition must prevent you from doing your past work. If your condition does not interfere with your ability to do the work you did previously, then your claim will be denied.
Can you do other work?
If you cannot do your past work, then the SSA will determine if you are able to do other work. Your medical condition must prevent you from doing other work. If you can do other work, you are not disabled.