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Overview of federal regulation that defines "disability"


Many of our Los Angeles readers are aware of the fact that the term "disability" has a specific definition when it comes to Social Security disability benefits. But, how many of our readers know that there are actual federal regulations that provide an in-depth definition of this term and the requirements that need to be met in order to satisfy this definition? For Los Angeles residents who may be thinking about applying for SSD benefits, it is important to take note of the details of the definition of the term "disability," as it may make a difference in the success or failure of an application for benefits.

The federal regulation that defines "disability" is Section 404.1505. This definition starts with the basics premise of a disability: the "inability to do any substantial gainful activity." The term "substantial gainful activity" has actually been addressed in previous posts here. For the purposes of Social Security disability, the inability to do any substantial gainful activity means that a person, in short, cannot do the job they used to do before the disability, and they can't do any other meaningful job that produces a sufficient income.

Next, the reason for the inability to do substantial gainful activity has to be attributed to a physical or mental condition, but not just any health condition will suffice. Under the federal regulation, the health condition must be expected to last a minimum of 12 months, or to result in death.

Reading federal regulations is not something that most people do on a regular basis. And, a person who is under the stress of having to suddenly apply for SSD benefits due to a severe disability may find these regulations confusing. Getting more information can be a good idea for a Los Angeles resident in this position.

Source: ssa.gov, "Section 404.1505. Basic definition of disability," Accessed April 10, 2016

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