Meeting Social Security’s Definition of “Disabled”

Just because you can’t work, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically start getting Social Security Disability benefits checks. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a large government agency that uses a complicated set or rules to determine if you deserve benefits. You’ll only get benefits if you meet the SSA’s strict definition of “disabled.”

Let the Social Security Disability attorneys at Pilzer Klein help you determine if you do. Contact our office to discuss your disability case.

Do I Qualify for Social Security?

There are two types of Social Security benefits: SSDI and SSI.


The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program pays benefits to you if you meet three criteria:

1You meet the SSA’s definition of “disabled,”

2As of the date you became disabled, you must have paid Social Security taxes for at least five of the last 10 years, and

3You have earned enough work credits by paying Social Security taxes.


Supplement Security Income (SSI) pays benefits to you if you meet certain criteria:

1You meet the SSA’s definition of “disabled,” and

2You meet the financial qualifications (you don’t have too much income or too many assets).

How Do I Meet the Definition of “Disabled”?

Under the Social Security Administration’s rules, you’re only defined as “disabled” if a physical or mental condition is expected to keep you from working for one full year (or result in death). Your disability can be mental, physical, or a combination of the two.

If you can’t work, it’s important you keep regular medical appointments and get enough medical evidence to help prove your case to Social Security.

In most cases, Social Security considers you disabled if:

1You can no longer do work you’ve done before;

2You’re unable to adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and

3Your disability has lasted or will last 12 months (or result in death).

Qualifying for disability benefits isn’t easy, Pilzer Klein can help.


Mike Barton, Greenville, SC


“I’m very pleased with the service and expertise from the Don Pilzer Law Firm. I would strongly recommend DPLF to anyone seeking help with the Social Security Disability Department. I filled out the necessary documentation and they took it from there. I was kept up to date and followed their recommendations on all steps. I’m glad they were there for me and if you need this type of service, I strongly recommend the Don Pilzer Law Firm.”


T. Wyant, Greenville, SC


“I had been denied 2 or 3 times for SSI and thankfully Kevin Klein, Don Pilzer’s partner, was successful in getting my benefits. He was always available and answered any emails or calls very quickly. They are very professional. I would definitely use this firm again and highly recommend them to anyone who needs help in receiving their disability benefits.”

What Medical Conditions Qualify?

By definition, any health problem that prevents you from working and fits the aforementioned standard from Social Security could qualify for disability benefits.

Here are some of the most common we see:

That’s just a few of the impairments our experienced disability lawyers can help you with. If you’re unsure if your condition could qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, call the attorneys at Pilzer Klein today to get started.

We’ll even evaluate your case for free.

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