The Social Security Administration will find a claimant to be legally disabled if he or she cannot perform “substantial gainful activity (SGA)”. This inability to do SGA must last at least one year. If the claimant is unable to do her past work and has attained a milestone age under the regulations, the rules may be eased somewhat.
A person who is working part time may still be considered legally disabled if her earnings are less than the amount considered to be “substantial” by the Adminstration. As of 2018, gross earnings of $1,180 or more per month are “substantial” and will ordinarily preclude a finding that the claimant is disabled.
To be considered disabled, a person must ordinarily establish that he or she cannot perform his past work and also must establish an inability to perform other types of employment. The Social Security rules are more lenient toward older workers with less education and limited job skills. Special rules apply in the case of a child's claim for Social Security Income (SSI).
Types of Social Security Disabilities
Virtually any medical impairment can constitute a Social Security disability if it is severe and prevents a person from the performance of substantial gainful work activity. Over the past 35 years, we have obtained Social Security Disability benefits for claimants who have suffered from the following impairments (note that the list is not fully inclusive of every type of case we have ever handled):
Orthopedic disorders involving the:
Shoulders, ankles and feet
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Carpal tunnel and other hand impairments
Disorders of the eyes and ears
Coronary artery disease
Side effects of medications and treatment
Peptic ulcer disease
Neurological Diseases and disorders
Connective tissue disease
Organic brain syndrome