Certain things have to be true for the U.S. Social Security Administration to approve you for Social Security Disability Insurance. First, you need to have enough work history in positions covered by Social Security. Second, your condition needs to meet the SSA’s narrow definition of the term “disability.”
Per the SSA, the administration may award you SSDI benefits if it determines that your condition is both a complete disability and one that is going to keep you from earning a living for a year or longer – or result in your death. If your disability is partial or short-term in nature, the SSA is not going to approve you for benefits.
What counts as a qualifying disability
The SSA may determine that you have a qualifying disability if you are able to show an ability to perform work due to your medical condition. You must not be able to do the work you have done throughout your life. The SSA must also determine that you are unable to adjust to other types of work.
What the SSA asks to decide if you have a qualifying disability
The SSA may also consider whether your condition is severe and whether it appears on the list it maintains of disabling conditions when determining if it makes you eligible for SSDI. The administration also considers whether you are currently working when deciding whether to issue you SSDI benefits.
Many people who apply for SSDI have their applications denied on account of not meeting the SSA’s criteria for having a disability. If this happens to you, you have the right to appeal the decision.