What We Mean By "Disability"
Social Security's definition of disability is different than that of other programs. We pay only for total disability we do not pay for partial disability or for short-term disability.
Social Security's disability definition is based on your inability to work. We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if all of the following apply:
- You cannot do work that you did before.
- We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s).
- Your disability lasts or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
To see the listing of impairments that can qualify for disability, use the link below to the "Adult Listing of Impairments." Even if your condition is not included in the listing, you still could get benefits. To find out more about how we decide if you are disabled, use the link below to our Publications page and review "Disability," Social Security Publication Number 05-10029.
PLEASE NOTE: If you get (or will get) a pension based on work for an employer who did not withhold Social Security taxes, such as a government agency or an employer in another country, your Social Security benefits may be reduced. Use the link below to our Publications page and review A Pension from Work Not Covered by Social Security, Social Security Publication Number 05-10045 and Government Pension Offset, Social Security Publication Number 05-10007.