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Defining 'disability' for SSDI

Social Security benefits are incredibly important to those in Florida who receive them, particularly when it is their sole source of income. When it comes to applying for Social Security Disability benefits, the underlying question of all is: are you disabled?

According to the Social Security Administration, there are three main prongs in the definition of "disability." First, the applicant must not be able to carry out the work duties they were able to prior to their illness or injury. Second, the applicant's illness or injury must prevent them from performing other kinds of jobs. Third, the applicant's illness or injury must have lasted for at least one continuous year or must be expected to be fatal.

Usually, these claims need to be backed up by a medical professional. A doctor can describe one's medical condition in detail including when and how the illness or injury began, its effects on the applicant's ability to work as well as detailing any tests performed or treatments made.

Some examples of medical conditions that may under some circumstances be considered disabling conditions include cancer, back problems, diabetes and heart conditions. Sometimes an illness or injury could lead to an amputation that may also prevent the amputee from working. Chronic pain or even certain mental disorders may also be found under the umbrella of disability, depending on the individual's unique set of circumstances.

As this shows, while there are requirements for being considered "disabled," they are not impossible to meet. With the right help, disabled applicants may be able to seek the benefits they are entitled to.

Source: FindLaw, "SSDI &SSI: Definition of 'Disabled', accessed Sept. 8, 2014

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