Under Social Security regulations, disability is the inability to engage in a “substantial gainful activity.” This means that to win a Social Security disability case, you have to show that your impairments prevent you from being able to work.
More specifically, you have to show that you are unable to perform the duties of any work you have performed over the past 15 years AND that you are unable to perform the duties of any other work that exists in substantial numbers in the national economy. Note: these are steps 4 and 5 of the sequential evaluation process.
The general rule is that if you can still perform the duties of a job, you are not disabled. Note: this is a very simplified definition and there are a number of significant exceptions including whether the job is a substantial gainful activity, the effects of your age, etc. Right now though, I want you to understand the main issue in Social Security disability cases.
What DOESN’T Social Security consider when looking at your ability to work?
- Social Security does not consider whether the kinds of jobs you can perform are available in your area.
- Social Security does not consider if employers are hiring.
- Social Security does not consider if you can get hired.
Phew! That’s a tough standard!
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 .