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Social Security disability law defines “disability” as an inability “to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
An individual is not “disabled” if drug addiction or alcoholism would “be a contributing factor material to the Commissioner’s determination that the individual is disabled.”
However, you cannot always rely on common sense to tell you who is and who is not disabled under Social Security law. Here are some examples:
Because of stump complications, he is unable to use a prosthetic device to walk one block at a reasonable pace, though he uses it to walk shorter distances, e.g., around an office or around his apartment. When he goes longer distances, he rides a motorized scooter.
Because of his earnings he is not disabled.
Example: Construction worker
He is not disabled unless he has some additional limitations.
Example: Machine operator
He is probably disabled.
Example: Truck driver
He is not disabled because he is still capable of doing the office job.
He is not disabled for the time he was off work based on Step 3 of the Sequential Evaluation Process. A regulation provides that unrelated impairments may not be combined to meet the requirement that a claimant be unable to work for 12 months.
She is disabled for the SSI program as long as she meets the income and asset limitations for that program. She is not eligible for Social Security disability benefits because she has not worked for so long.
We handle SSI and Social Security disability cases in these Minnesota counties and communities: Counties: Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Anoka County, Carver County, Scott County, Dakota unty. Communities: Minneapolis, St Paul, Bloomington, Eagan, St Louis Park, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove,Brooklyn Park, Roseville, Woodbury, Hastings, Duluth, Alexandria, Brainerd, Rochester, St. Cloud, Mankato.