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Defining elements of social security disability

The term "disabled" is heavy. It has the potential to bring with it a feeling of helplessness and frustration, especially if the person now wearing the label was at one time a dedicated, hard-working employee. Whether a Florida worker becomes disabled by an accident at work or through a crippling medical diagnosis, he or she may feel overwhelmed trying to wade through the process of applying for assistance.

The Social Security Administration offers guidance to help those who find themselves in this or similar situations. First, the Administration shares how it defines disability. Because of the wide variation of incidents and individuality of cases, the defining elements the SSA considers must be strict.

The Administration says workers cannot make more than $1180 in a month and still qualify for disability benefits. Instead, they must experience limitations that prevent them from reaching that threshold. In addition, SSA explains limitations employees experience should include an inability to function in routine activities like "lifting, standing, walking, sitting and remembering." 

Another question the Administration will ask is whether injured individuals are able to continue working in the same roles as before the injury or illness occurred. If an injury or illness prevents them from doing their jobs, the SSA says their cases lean more toward qualification for disability. 

The American Association of Retired Persons adds essential information, noting if someone has become disabled and cannot do his or her previous work, the next question to ask is whether "any work that exists in the national economy" is a possibility. 

AARP reminds applicants the process is long and complicated. It requires significant patience and tenacity.  

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