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The definition of disability and your right to benefits

If you are seeking disability benefits, you know how complicated and frustrating it can be to attempt to collect the financial support you need. For some New York residents who are unable to work, there may be benefits available through the Social Security Administration. However, even with a valid claim to benefits, it can be quite difficult to actually get disability benefits.

One of the first steps in obtaining Social Security benefits is to understand what actually qualifies as a disability. In order to obtain financial support through the SSA, your medical condition must meet certain criteria. If you do not meet the SSA's definition of disability, you do not qualify for benefits through this particular program.

What qualifies as a disability?

A person who is unable to work because of a physical injury, medical condition or mental illness would meet the average person's definition of disabled. However, the SSA has its own strict definition. According to the SSA, you could be eligible if you meet the following criteria: 

  • You are currently unable to work because of your physical or mental condition.
  • Your condition prevents you from adjusting to other types of work.
  • Your physical or mental condition will likely last for a period of at least one year or result in your death.

Simply put, if you are unable to work and you meet the above criteria, you could be eligible for benefits through the SSA. The SSA holds a very specific definition of disability, and even those who meet the eligibility criteria could find it difficult to navigate the claims process.

Knowing your rights as a disabled individual

Regardless of the type of disability you have or the details of your individual physical or mental condition, you always have the right to know your options. If you believe that you could have a rightful claim to disability benefits, it is always prudent to seek a full evaluation of your case in order to know how to proceed.

Defining your disability

The foundation of any successful disability claim depends largely on the medical documentation and information included with the claim. Seeking medical care and fully explaining your symptoms to your doctor is one of the first steps you can take to better prove that you have a valid disability according to the SSA's definition.

Seeking a full evaluation of your physical or mental condition can not only ensure you get the right treatment, it can help you secure the documentation needed to prove that you qualify for this particular type of financial support.

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