Social Security basics: what is a “disability?”

How does Social Security define a disability?In order to qualify for disability benefits under Social Security you have to be found disabled.

Well, thank you Captain Obvious.

Ok. But, what does it mean to be disabled? Is it enough to have a medical impairment? Is the diagnosis, itself, enough?

In short, no. Under Social Security regulations, it is not enough to have a medical condition. Your impairment(s) have to be severe enough to prevent you from being able to engage in a “Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).” In most cases, a Substantial Gainful Activity translates to full-time, competitive, employment.

The touchstone of a Social Security disability case is the question, “do your conditions keep you from being able to do some type of full-time work.”

Read these articles for more information about work and employment and how Social Security applies Substantial Gainful Activity in disability cases.

Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter