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The steps to determine if someone is disabled for benefits

Georgia residents know themselves better than anyone else. When a person is unable to work because of his or her health, for example, the person is typically the first to know. When the person's inability to work is the basis for a Social Security disability benefits application, however, the person must meet certain requirements to demonstrate the person is unable to work.

First, a person generally cannot be considered disabled if they are working and earning above a certain amount. For 2014, if the person earns more than $1,070 per month, it may bar the person from being considered disabled. Next, the person must show his or her disability interferes with basic work-related activities.

The next requirements pertain to the person's condition. The Social Security Administration keeps a list of severe medical conditions that qualify a person as disabled. If the person's condition is on the list, the person qualifies as being disabled. However, if the condition is not on the list, a determination has to be made as to whether the condition is as severe as those on the list.

If the condition is not as severe as those on the list, the person's ability to perform his or her previous work will be examined. The person's claim will be denied if the condition does not affect the person's ability to perform his or her previous work. On the other hand, if it does affect the ability to perform previous work, an analysis will be done to determine if the person can perform other types of work. If the person has skills that may transfer to another type of work, his or her claim may be denied. However, if the person is unable to perform other work, the application for benefits will likely be approved.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability planner: how we decide if you are disabled," accessed on Nov. 14, 2014

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