Is My Condition Severe Enough for Disability Benefits?


The success or failure of a Social Security disability claim relies largely on one thing: the severity of your condition. In an article we published a few weeks ago, we listed this as the second of 5 major obstacles to winning a case. So how can you know if you have a condition severe enough for disability benefits?

Fortunately, the Social Security Administration expects you to ask this question — in fact, they ask it themselves. Following its questions about your work ability and income, the SSA asks simply: “is your condition severe?” It then offers some possible answers.

Is My Condition Severe Enough?

The SSA offers the following guidelines, which you should use to find an answer to the severity question. Remember, medical records are essential to any disability case, so go through these guidelines thoroughly with a doctor.

  • Your condition must limit your ability to perform basic work-related activities
    • You must be able to prove that your condition prevents you from adequately providing for yourself.
    • You don’t have to be bed-ridden or unable to walk. There are countless types of symptoms that can limit work ability, you just need to find those that apply to you.
    • If your case isn’t strong enough in its description of your limitations, it may be quickly denied.
  • Be completely honest
    • Do not exaggerate the severity of your condition, but don’t hide anything, either.
    • A complete and accurate description of your condition and its symptoms will only help you. If the SSA thinks you’re being dishonest, they may throw out your case.
    • If, for any reason, you hide information about your condition, the SSA may underestimate its severity.

Finding out if you have a condition severe enough for disability benefits is often no easy task. The rules and qualifications set forth by the SSA are very complex. An experienced disability lawyer can help you cut through the clutter and clear the severity hurdle. At Summit Disability Law Group, we specialize in doing just that. Contact us today for a free consultation.