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Disability Defined

The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

"Disability" under Social Security is based on your inability to work. The Social Security Administration consider you disabled under Social Security rules if:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;

  • We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s);and

  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers' compensation, insurance, savings and investments.

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