Share the blog post

What is the Definition of Disability under Social Security?

To meet Social Security’s definition of disability, you must not be able to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of a medically-determinable physical or mental impairment(s) that is expected to result in death, or has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.  Unless drug or alcohol abuse is a contributing factor material to your disability, it doesn’t matter how you became disabled.  In fact, your disability may have been caused by personal injury or illness.

Does the cause of the disability matter?

You may have had a car accident or motorcycle accident, which caused a personal injury.  Perhaps unfortunately you were diagnosed with cancer.  Maybe you have diabetes which has resulted in diabetic neuropathy or you have a degenerated spinal disc which causes you a lot of pain and prevents you from working.  The point is, whether your condition(s) is caused by personal injury or illness, the issue is do you meet Social Security’s legal definition of disability.

Take, for example, a motorcycle accident.  A motorcycle accident can be particularly devastating. This is because a motorcyclist doesn’t have the protection afforded by a car.  Being surrounded by metal and secured by a seat belt and airbag can make a big difference. It can make the difference between great bodily harm and escaping with only a minor personal injury.  This is because it is a lot easier to be ejected from a motorcycle than from a car.

An accident can cause a traumatic brain injury

Auto accidents can cause a condition called traumatic brain injury.  This can be caused when your head comes in contact with another object, such as the road or even the inside of your own vehicle.  Brain injuries can be caused by violent motion of the neck and skull causing a concussion.  See more information by visiting the Brain Injury Association of America’s website by clicking here.

A personal injury also can be caused by a slip and fall.  As people age, they can become more susceptible to falls.  Falls can cause broken hips and other broken bones.  They also can cause brain injuries as referenced above.  Sometimes a slip and fall can be caused by a dangerous condition on the sidewalk or an object that should not be there.

If you have been injured, speak with a lawyer right away about a personal injury claim and a Social Security Disability claim

If you have been injured in an accident, it is important that you contact a lawyer right away.  This is to see if you may have a claim against a responsible party.  A responsible party is some person or entity who may have negligently caused your injuries.  It also is important to speak with a lawyer about whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits.  This is because a personal injury can cause a condition that may prevent you from working for at least a year.

Bear in mind that if you delay making a claim or filing a lawsuit, you may be causing your own self harm. This is because if you must file a lawsuit against a party responsible for your personal injury, you must do so before any applicable statute of limitations expires.

It is important that you speak with an attorney right away if you think you might have a personal injury claim or a Social Security disability claim.  Feel free to contact us at any time if you ever have any questions about your legal rights