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Understanding the Meaning of Disability

As a attorney who specializes in Social Security disability claims in San Diego and Temecula, I find it helpful for clients to fully understand the meaning of disability.

If you can no longer perform substantial gainful activity, or SGA, as a consequence of a mental or physical deficiency that is anticipated to last at least 12 months, you are entitled to receive Social Security disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

A person’s disability or impairment must compare to the level of severity described in the Social Security Listing of Impairments. This guide describes a wide variety of conditions, ranging from arthritis and high blood pressure to asthma, heart failure, and depression. Adhering to the guide will assist you in gaining disability approval.

It is very challenging to gain disability approval based solely on meeting the disability criteria in the listing book. Most persons will qualify for Social Security benefits another way: when their disabling condition is severe enough that they are unable to work and make what is considered “substantial gainful activity.”

The Social Security Administration will deliberate if you are able to do your most recent job, or any job you have had in the past 15 years. If not, the SSA will assess what work can be performed.  The SSA will make this assessment while considering a person’s age, level of education, and the variety of skills they learned in the past.

An example would be, a person with a 9th grade education who cannot do their past work (for instance, because it necessitates manual labor) will never be required to do work that goes beyond their educational limits. In addition, individuals with serious mental or affective impairments (low IQ or depression or anxiety) will not be expected to perform other work that requires detailed attention and concentration.

If you have further questions regarding your case or your ability to qualify for Social Security Disability in San Diego or anywhere in California, please feel free to contact our office.

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