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What does Social Security mean by "Disability"?

Social Security has a special definition for the term “disability”. It is very specific and is related to your ability to work. To qualify for disability from Social Security, you must have a physical or mental impairment that is expected to keep you from doing any “substantial” work for at least a year, or you must have a condition that is expected to result in your death.
This is a fairly strict definition of disability in order to receive benefits. There is no such thing as a “partial” disability payment from Social Security. However, individuals who have been found only “partially disabled” under workers’ compensation standards may also be eligible for Social Security Disability. You should talk to a lawyer about your individual disability to see if you qualify.

Social Security’s rules are different from other plans or government agencies. So the fact that you qualify for disability from somebody else does not mean that you will be eligible for Social Security. Further, the fact that you have a statement from your doctor indicating that you are “totally disabled” does not mean that you will be automatically eligible for Social Security disability payments. You should speak to one of our attorneys to discuss the specifics of your individual case.

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