Social Security is the ultimate way out for the residents of a state when they need help. It is a kind of welfare fund that helps the needy and disabled to stand on their own and keep their life running. In the social security guide, the definition of “disabled” is far different from the one that we commonly use. It is a difference of medium that needs to be transparent among the people on a general note.

How Social Security works

It is necessary to understand how Social Security works to understand what they classify as a disability. Once you do, you have an idea about the overall process. It is easy to understand the functions and other important details so you can study the application of rules in certain conditions.

The Social Security Administration has two programs to benefit disabled people. The first one id the Social Security Disability Insurance that supports the disabled people who worked previously for a specific number of years and paid taxes to the Social Security Program. It is as they get the tax money back from the savings they made during the service period.

The second program is the Supplemental Security Income; it is a need-based program that helps people with limited income or earning resources. For a person, it is not impossible to qualify for both programs. The base the evaluation on the professional history and current financial condition of the person. Both situations can lead to final evaluation.

Definition of disabled

The definition of disability and disabled is quite different in the records of Social Security in comparison to the other fields. The administration defines disability as “a condition in which someone is unable to perform due to some certain medical conditions that can be physical or mental. These conditions are supposed to last for at least 12 months or may be able to cause death.”

It is a well-defined and clear definition presented by the administration to keep the procedure simple and aligned as well.

Criteria to evaluate disability in a case

For the evaluation of the disability under the light of its definition, there is a specific criterion available. The administration needs to make sure that everyone will get the best response and distribute all the resources in the right place.

Here are the five-step criteria that help to cover up.

Step one:

 It starts with the evaluation of the earning capacity. Administration asks the person about his earnings, whether these are more than substantial gainful activity or not. In case of earning as per gainful activity, then the person is not considered to be disabled despite any physical illness or deficiency.

Step 2:

The physical condition of the person should be severe enough to affect the ability to perform the task. If a person has paralysis or having such a medical condition that limits his mobility, communication, and exposure as well, then the person is considered disabled.

Step 3:

In case of an accident, your impairments should meet the listings of SSA’s Impairments.

Step 4:

 They check whether you are well enough to return to your job or not. It includes your ability of movement, potential to recover and get back on your feet.

Step 5:

The last step is to assess what else you can do constructively to contribute to progress and development. It is to evaluate what are the other things you can perform and make better in the conditions.

Major disabling characteristics:

If you want to prove yourself disabled in Social Security through a legal procedure, then you need to know the characteristics of disability. A person who genuinely fulfills these characteristics will get a pass from the administration and can take benefit from any one of the programs.

Here are some prominent points that you need to assess and explain to the administration in your disability application. 

1. Working capacity:

The current working capacity of the person is more important than any history or physical examination. Even if a person is blind or unable to walk but earning as per the substantial gainful activity, then he will not be entitled as disabled. He is good enough to maintain himself and his family using all the available opportunities.

2. Previous earning record

You need to provide your last earning record that displays what you have done in the earlier years and what was your professional exposure. It helps the administration to evaluate whether the person was well enough to handle and manage the things easily or not. It simplifies the status of the person as a responsible citizen and ensures the administration to take the stake or not.

3. Medical condition

The medical condition is one of the most prominent and active characteristics that define disability in social Security. It is not about being blind, unable to speak, hear, or walk. It is about not being able to perform a specific task. The person is not in an excellent state to handle any job, or matter is termed as disabled.

4. Future capacity

Along with your previous earning record, your skillset, and other important details about yourself, you need to provide the potential of work to the administration. It is one of the critical considerations by social Security, whether the person will be able to perform any task or not.

Also, any task refers to any job. The Social Security Administration makes sure to determine if the person can do something related to their career. It helps them to evaluate the residual functional capacity of the person. It affects the overall sanction of a grant to the disabled person.

Bottom line:

Defining disability in Social Security is not as simple as it appears. Disability is very different from the general definition in social Security, and proving it legally to administration is a kind of technical job but not an impossible one.