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How does Social Security determine that a person is disabled?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will check to see if your situation falls into the very strict definition of disability (it’s specified by law, so there’s no messing around here). So you’re probably wondering what that stringent definition is. Well, you will be considered disabled if:

  • you are unable to do any substantial work because of your medical condition(s); and (you need to have both)
  • your medical condition or conditions have lasted (or are expected to last) at least one year or result in your death.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.