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Does my condition meet the SSA’s disability definition?

California residents who cannot work for an extended period due to a disability may be able to recover Social Security Disability benefits. To qualify for disability benefits, your medical condition must constitute a disability pursuant to the SSA’s definition. The SSA will evaluate the following when deciding whether you meet the disability criteria:

  • Your work status – Workers who are not currently working or earn less than $1,310 on average per month may qualify as disabled.
  • The severity of the condition – Your medical condition must ‘significantly limit’ your ability to engage in basic activities at work, such as sitting, standing, or remembering information, for at least one year to constitute a disability.
  • The condition is listed in the Blue Book Listing of Impairments – If you have a condition that is severe enough to prevent you from doing substantial gainful activity, your condition may be listed in the Blue Book Listing of Impairments. If it is listed, your condition will automatically meet the SSA’s definition of disability.
  • Your ability to do the work you did before – If your condition is not listed in the Blue Book, it can still meet the disability definition if your condition prevents you from doing the work you did before you developed the condition.
  • Your ability to do other work – If you can no longer do the work you did before, the SSA will determine whether you are able to do other work based on your work experience, age, and job skills. If you are unable to do other work, you may have a disability under the SSA’s definition.

If you think your medical condition or impairment qualifies you for Social Security Disability benefits, an attorney specializing in SSD benefits may be able to assist with your claim.