According the to Social Security Administration’s SSA Pub.No. 05-10029 April 1995, the definition of “disability” is as follows: “Disability under Social Security is based on your inability to work. You will be considered disabled if you are unable to do any kind of work for which you are suited and your disability is expected to last for at least a year or to result in death.”
1. Are you working? If you are and your earnings average more than $500 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled.
2. Is your condition severe? Your impairments must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered.
3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling impairments? We maintain a list of impairments for each of the major body systems that are so severe they automatically mean you are disabled. If your condition is not on the list, we have to decide if it is of equal severity to an impairment on the list. If it is, your claim is approved. If it is not, we go to the next step.
4. Can you do the work you did previously? If your condition is severe, but not at the same or equal severity as an impairment on the list, then we must determine if it interferes with your ability to do the work you did in the last 15 years. If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, your claim will be considered further.
5. Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do the work you did in the last 15 years, we then look to see if you can do any other type of work. We consider your age, education, past work experience, and transferable skills, and we review the job demands of occupations as determined by the Depart. of Labor.
If you cannot do any other kind of work, your claim will be approved. If you can, your claim will be denied. To get information from the Social Security Administration, call 1-800-772-1213.