How Disabled Must I be to Collect Social Security ?

In order to be considered “disabled” by Social Security, you must be able to prove that you have a physical or mental disability, disease, injury or illness that is severe enough to keep you from working for at least 12 months.

The Social Security Administration will take also into consideration your age, your education, and your past work history when deciding whether you should be found disabled.

For Social Security applicants under age 50, the Social Security Administration requires you to prove that you are unable to perform any type(s) of work in the general economy . . . not just your regular or previous field of work. In other words, if you can do any job you will not be considered disabled.

For example, if you were a plumber but you injured your back – so you can no longer crawl under sinks – you will not qualify for disability if you can still sit at a cash register and work as a cashier.

Whatever your disability, you will be required to “prove” that you are disabled through objective medical evidence and extensive medical records presented by you and/or your lawyer.

The Social Security Blue Book

The first thing that a Social Security disability examiner does in evaluating your disability is to refer to the Social Security’s “official listing” of impairments. This official listing of conditions is often commonly called “The Blue Book.” The Blue Book lists the medical conditions that Social Security recognizes as being “inherently disabling”. In other words, if a person is determined to be suffering from a condition listed in the Blue Book it is accepted that he or she would be unable to work and could not earn an amount equivalent to “substantial gainful activity”.

Keep in mind that just because your condition is listed in the Blue Book, you do not “automatically” qualify for Social Security Disability. You still have to “prove” that you actually have the condition you claim you have. In other words, the disability examiner will still look at all of your medical records to make a determination if your symptoms actually meet the criteria of any of the specific mental condition listed in the blue book.

And, if your medical condition is not listed in the Blue Book you can still collect Social Security Disability IF your medical records and the documentation you submit prove to the Social Security Administration that your illness or injury is severe enough to keep you from working for at least 12 months.

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