This is a question many people ask themselves. They feel as though they are unable to work, so they should be considered disabled, right? Sadly, that is not how the process works. However, here are some guidelines to help you make your decision:
First, are you currently working right now? The Social Security Administration has a rule that states if you are engaging in "substantial gainful activity," then you are not disabled. To make this very easy, if you are not blind and make more than $1,130.00 each month, then you will not be considered disabled. Now, the determination of substantial gainful activity is actually more complicated than this, but the easiest way to make the first decision as to whether or not you are disabled is to look at your gross earnings each month.
Next, ask yourself if your conditions are really severe or are they more moderate? If your conditions are so severe that they interrupt your ability to engage in basic work requirements, then you may be considered to be disabled. By basic work requirements, does your condition affect your ability to walk and stand, sit for long periods of time, concentrate, or follow instructions? These are examples of basic work activities and if your condition interrupts your ability to perform them, then you may be able to win your disability case.
Third, does your condition meet the medical requirements put forth by the Social Security Administration? For example, if you have cancer, go online and look up what medical requirements are listed for your disease. For almost all impairments, conditions, or diseases, the Administration lists what requirements will be considered to find you disabled. If you meet them and you satisfy the above other two requirements, then you will be found disabled.
If your condition(s) does not meet the medical listing, then ask yourself, taking into consideration the above requirements, can you go an do any job you have done in the last fifteen years? If you can do any job you did where you where there long enough to learn it within the last fifteen years, even taking into consideration all your medical issues, then you are actually not disabled. The reason is that there are jobs still available you are capable of performing. Remember this, being disabled does not mean you are incapacitated. What it actually means to be disabled is that you are unable to do any other job in the national economy. However, if you can answer in the affirmative that you cannot do any job you did in the last fifteen years then you only have one more question you must ask to determine whether or not you are disabled.
Finally, ask yourself if there is some other type of job you could do. Now, you will have to take into consideration your age, education, and all the other skills you have learned at your other jobs before you can make this determination. Also, you have to take into consideration all your mental or physical impariments when deciding if there is any other job you would be able to perform. However, here's a secret, this is usually where most people get denied for disability benefits. You are usually going to be arguing you are unable to do any other type of work and the Social Security Administration is going to be arguing you are capable of doing so. But, if you are found that you cannot do any other type of work in the national economy and you satsify those other requirements, then you just may be disabled.