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What does 'disability' mean for the purpose of getting benefits?

It can be daunting to try to understand the myriad of benefits' programs that exist to provide support when New York workers become too sick or too hurt to work. A person may not know if they should seek short-term help for getting past their ailment or if they should pursue long-term support from a disability benefits program. This post will focus on one small aspect of benefits law - the definition of a disability for the purposes of pursuing benefits from the Social Security Administration - and readers are advised that it is not offered as legal advice.

There are three parts to the disability definition individuals must meet to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The first part is rather straightforward: a person cannot be able to do the work they did prior to suffering their disability illness or injury. That is to say, going back to one's regular job cannot be possible based on the condition the individual has acquired.

Second, an individual who wishes to pursue SSDI must not be able to adjust their work responsibilities in order to accommodate their condition and to allow them to find other work. A disability under this definition is all-encompassing and must prevent a person from doing any possible work.

Finally, any illness or injury on which a SSDI application is based must be expected to last for at least a year. Conditions that are expected to resolve in less than 12 months cannot qualify individuals for SSDI benefits. When these three criteria are met a person may be able to successfully seek SSDI from the Social Security Administration, but as with all legal matters individual cases should be reviewed with readers' own disability benefits attorneys.

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