How SSA Determines If You Can Work


The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers vital factors when approving disability benefits applications, including a person’s ability to work and earn enough income.

The question is, why does the SSA consider a disabled person’s ability to work?

How does the SSA determine this factor when approving a disability insurance application?

Read on to answer these questions and prepare yourself for the application process.

Disability Benefits Application and a Person’s Ability to Work

The SSA wants to ensure that disability benefits only reach people with limitations that prevent them from working full-time on any job. Their disabilities must also prevent them from engaging in other substantial gainful activities (SGA).

Additional financial support may be unnecessary for disabled people who can still work and earn enough income.

SGA are activities where you earn more than the maximum income level set by the SSA. In 2022, the income limit is $1,350 for non-blind and $2,260 for legally blind people. You engage with SGA if you earn more than these amounts each month.

Determining a Person’s Working Capacity for Disability Benefits Application

The SSA will approve your application if you cannot return to your recent work or if you cannot get a new job position. And they will consider these few key factors when determining your work capacity:

1. Medical Condition


First, the SSA will check your medical condition and its effects on your health and approve your application if your disability:

  • Satisfies the criteria in its specific Bluebook listing
  • Had lasted or is expected to last for more than a year or may cause your death
  • Significantly limits your capacity to work in any job position

The agency might deny your application if you can still work for a different position than your recent job. Thus, you have to prove your disability’s debilitating extent by attaching all medical documents on your application. A Glendale Social Security benefits attorney will support your disability insurance application.

2. Age

Your age is also a significant factor during the disability benefits application process because it may affect your ability to work.

The SSA generally thinks that younger disabled people have better chances of learning new skills for new job positions. They only need to undergo a retraining course to prepare.

Thus, the agency denies most applications from younger people. However, you could still get approved if your disability won’t allow you to work for other job positions.

3. Work History

The SSA will also look through your work experience and see if you can return to a previous job. They may deny your application if they prove your experience is suitable for your current situation.

For example, you may have worked as a graphic artist years ago and recently as a driver. The SSA may prove you can return to your previous job if your disability makes you unable to drive.

4. Educational Background

Your educational background is a relevant factor during the application because it reflects your skills.

You are likely to be denied if your education proves you have skills that could allow you to work despite your disability. You could get approved if you don’t have any educational background or skill that could allow you to work.

Consult with a Social Security Benefits Lawyer in Glendale to Get Disability Benefits Approval

It’s challenging to get SSA approval even if you believe you deserve the disability benefits. You must prove you suffer from a particular medical problem that makes you unable to work.

A reliable Glendale Social Security benefits attorney could prove your condition and help you get the SSA approval.

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