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What does "disabled" mean for the purposes of securing benefits?

A disability may present itself at any point in a New York resident's life. They may be born into the world with an illness or injury that limits their capacity to learn, grow, or live independently. They may also suffer an accident or acquire an illness that robs them of the full functioning of their body or mind.

Whenever a person becomes disabled, they may struggle to find their footing in a world that requires practically everyone to earn an income to survive. The inability to work due to a disabling condition may allow a person to seek financial assistance through the Social Security Administration's disability benefits programs. There are two disability benefits programs that individuals may wish to explore, which are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

To qualify for these programs a person must show that they are disabled and doing so requires them to meet the standards set forth in the Social Security Administration's definition of the term. Pursuant to guidance provided by the Social Security Administration, a disability is something that keeps a person from doing substantial gainful activity because of a mental or physical condition that is expected to last until their death or for at least 12 months.

Therefore, disabilities are not transient conditions that may remedy after several days or weeks. They are pervasive conditions that prevent individuals from finding and keeping jobs that will provide them with income. A person who meets the definition of disabled as set forth by the Social Security Administration may have options for getting financial help as they navigate the world with their disabling condition.

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