Social Security Disability benefits are only available to people who meet the strict definition the Social Security Administration sets for disability. Every year there are countless applications denied because the applicants do not meet this definition. Before applying for SSDI, it is essential that you understand the definition and make sure you not only meet the definition but also have proof to back up your claims.

While there are other requirements you must meet to get SSDI, it is the disability requirement that generally causes people the most trouble. This is because the SSA defines it is a very narrow manner. There are two main points to the definition. You should be clear on each.

Duration and extent of disability

According to the SSA, for a medical condition to be a disability that qualifies for SSDI, it must last continuously for at least one year. That does not mean that you must have had the condition for a year prior to applying for benefits, though. It simply means that you have medical proof that it will last at least a year. Do note that most people who receive SSDI have disabilities that will result in their deaths.

Type of disability

The other part of the definition states that your medical condition must prevent you from working in any capacity. You need to have some type of impairment that makes it impossible for you to maintain employment. You must have medical evidence to prove this, which is where many people have issues because it requires more than a doctor’s statement that your condition is bad enough to prevent you from working.