Disability Advisor
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How does Social Security decide if I am disabled?

The Social Security Administration's (SSA) definition of disability for adults is different from the definition in other programs. The SSA pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability. This is a strict definition of disability.

Disability under Social Security is based on your inability to work because of a medical condition. The SSA considers you disabled if either of the following is found to be true:

  • You cannot do the work you did before and the SSA decides that you cannot adjust to other work because of a medical condition(s).
  • Your disability must last or be expected to last for at least a year or result in death.

  1. What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI Disability?
  2. Do Social Security disability benefits expire?
  3. Can a person with a terminal illness qualify for disability benefits?
  4. How does Social Security decide if I am disabled?
  5. I am currently receiving Social Security disability benefits. Will my benefits be affected if I earn additional money?
  6. What is the earliest age at which I can receive Social Security disability benefits?
  7. How many credits are required to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits?
  8. Will I speed up the review process if I re-submit my application or my case profile?
  9. Can Social Security take away my SSDI benefits?
  10. I currently receive Social Security disability income benefits, but my disabilities have worsened and I have other health problems. Can my monthly benefit amount be increased?
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