Generally, in order to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security requires that you prove that you have one or more impairments which prevent you from engaging in significant gainful activity for at least one year.
In other words, you have to have an impairment or impairments which keep you from working for at least one year.
Although that rule seems cut-and-dry, there are some specific variables and circumstances to consider, especially how restricted your ability to work is and whether those restrictions fall within those allowed according to your age group.
Work Restrictions for Claimants Aged 18–49
If you are a younger individual under Social Security guidelines (age 18–49), you must have an impairment which is so severe that it meets one of the listed impairments set forth by the Social Security Administration. These requirements are extremely difficult to meet. However, if you do meet a listed impairment, you will qualify for benefits no matter how old you are.
If you are a younger individual and your condition does not meet one of the listed impairments, you must basically prove that you are not capable of being at a workplace to complete an eight-hour work day and/or forty-hour work week.
For Claimants Aged 50–54
If you are age 50–54, you must be able to prove that you are unable to perform any work that you have done in the past 15 years, and that you are limited to no more than sedentary work. Sedentary work is work that requires no standing or walking greater than 2 hours out of 8, and lifting no more than 10 pounds.
For Claimants of 55 Years and Over
If you are age 55 or over, you must again prove that you are unable to perform any work that you have done in the past 15 years and that you can do no more than light work. Light work requires that you be limited to standing and walking no more than 6 hours out of 8 and lifting no more than 20 pounds.
Thus, it is possible to get approved for DIB and/or SSI even if you are still capable of performing work activity, depending on your age, limitations, and past work experience. It is not always necessary to prove that there is absolutely no work you can perform; only the work deemed too strenuous depending on your age, as determined by the SSA.
How a Moreno Valley Social Security Attorney Can Help You Navigate Your Case
These are issues and arguments that must be carefully researched in order to be properly presented to the Social Security Administration and its employees. I personally spend a great deal of time on each and every case to properly determine the best argument that can be made for each specific client based on the unique facts of their case.