Any type of serious health condition can turn a person's world upside down, whether it is a mental illness or physical injury. It can become all but impossible to do things you used to do, and you may consider yourself to be disabled. However, your definition of disability may not be the same as the Social Security Administration's definition, and unfortunately it is the SSA's definition that matters when it comes to pursuing disability benefits.
If the SSA determines that you are disabled, you can be eligible to receive critical benefits that can make it easier for you and your family to handle the financial strain of paying for medical care and basic needs when you are unable to work. This is why it can be important to understand what the SSA considers when measuring disability.
According to the official Social Security website, the SSA will thoroughly examine your medical records and diagnosed conditions when considering an application for benefits. Based on this information, it will determine whether a condition is considered "severe." This means that it must significantly impact or interfere with your ability to do certain work-related tasks.
For example, the SSA will often look at how a condition affects your:
- Sight or hearing capabilities
- Ability to communicate
- Cognitive function
- Sensitivity to environmental elements
- Physical strength and flexibility
- Emotional and psychological well-being
The SSA will also check to make sure your condition is include on the list of ailments that are eligible for disability benefits. If it is not, your application can be denied.
However, even if your condition is on the list of covered disabilities, the SSA can still deny your claim. This is because the SSA will also make a judgment on whether your condition prevents you from performing not only your job, but other types of work as well.
Taking all these factors into account when applying for benefits is essential and can also give you a good idea of how important it is to provide the SSA with thorough and accurate medical and employment information. Instead of trying to take on all this alone, it can be helpful to work with an attorney familiar with navigating the Social Security system in the pursuit of disability benefits.