First and foremost, you do not have to be bedridden to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
However, here are some general rules to help you decide whether or not you should apply for disability:
First, there are two ways in which the Social Security Administration will first look to see whether or not you can qualify for benefits.
Social Security keeps a medical listing for almost all physical and mental impairments. If you can meet the definition of your condition, then you will likely qualify for benefits. But, to meet the definition of your impairment is oftentimes very difficult, so the Administration will look to the Medical-Vocation Guidelines to see if you can qualify as well.
Under Medical-Vocational guidelines, the Social Security Administration will take into consideration your age, education, and any transferable work skills you have acquired from your last fifteen of employment. If you do meet these guidelines, then you also have a good chance of being approved for disability benefits.
Now, all that being said, here's some other guidelines to help you decide whether or not you may be approved for benefits:
(1) Social Security disability favors people as they get older. If you are older then 45, you have a better chance of being approved for benefits. If you are older than 55, you chances improve even more.
(2) If you are under the age of 45, then you must examine your condition(s). Honestly ask yourself, can you possibly do any job you have done in the last fifteen years? Also, are you able to work at any job full time? If you can't do any job you have done before and your condition(s) keep you from being able to do any other job, then you do need to go ahead and apply for benefits.
(3) Keep appealing a denial and do not wait a significant length of time and file again. Remember, the people first deciding your claim do not see or speak to you. If you do have to go before a Social Security judge, he or she will have the opportunity to speak with you directly and hear your side of the story as to why you are unable to work.
(4) Go to the doctor or hospital even if you have not filed. Continue to seek treatment for your condition(s). Want to have the best chance of being approved? -Have the medical evidence to back up your claim.