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What is a qualifying disability?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Firm News |

One of the main requirements to receive Social Security Disability is to have a condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability.

The SSA explains its definition is strict and has specific criteria a medical condition must meet. If you do not meet the definition, then you cannot receive benefits.

Substantial gainful activity

The SSA requires that because of your medical condition you cannot engage in SGA. SGA is a work activity that allows you to earn over a set amount of money. In general, it is a rather low threshold of earnings, but the actual amount varies. It is different for certain situations, such as if you are blind, and the amount changes every year. However, in general, if you can work part-time making minimum wage, then you probably earn too much. The SSA would consider that SGA, and you would not meet this part of the disability requirement.


The second part of the disability definition is that your condition will last for at least one year or will lead to your death. Typically, only the most severe injuries or illnesses will meet this part of the definition. You must have medical documentation to back up any claim, which means your doctor must state your condition will last for at least 12 continuous months or it will cause your death.

A note

The disabled definition is a little different for children. Anyone under 18 will pass the disability test if the condition causes severe limitations. It must present a challenge in the child’s everyday life that alters how he or she functions. However, minors must still meet the requirement for the length that is in place for adults.

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