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Explaining the term “disability” in California

On Behalf of | Nov 4, 2015 | Social Security Disability Benefits

Previous posts here have provided details on a wide variety of topics connected to the Social Security Disability program in California. However, our Los Angeles readers should be very clear about the actual meaning of the term “disability.”

When does a Californian suffer from a “disability?” Many Californians may believe this is a condition that is easily discernable, but the fact is that the Social Security Administration has a very specific definition. The Social Security Administration defines the definition under federal regulations, and it outlines what factors must be met for a person to be classified as disabled.

First, the medical condition in question — whether it is physical or mental — must prevent the person from participating in the employment that the person held prior to the onset of the condition. But, there is even more to it that this: the condition must also prevent the person from doing any other type of work as well, as long as the person would be realistically qualified for any other employment positions.

Lastly, the medical condition must be serious enough that the condition is expected to last for at least a 12-month period of time. If the medical condition is considered to be terminal, that could qualify as well.

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are not just handed out to anyone who applies. There are specific medical requirements that applicants must met for their medical conditions to meet the definition of “disability,” as used by the Social Security Administration. If an applicant’s medical condition does not meet this definition, the person’s application for SSD benefits will likely be denied.

Source:, “SSDI & SSI: Definition of ‘Disabled’,” accessed on Oct. 31, 2015

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