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Disability Definition

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned 29-years-old last month. Now seems like a good time to remember that disabilities affect millions of Americans in various ways, including impacts to their quality of life and ability to earn a living.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not, however, allow everyone with a disability to collect Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. To qualify for SSD benefits, you have to meet a strict definition of “disability” that is not the same as other organizations’ definitions.

SSD also does not offer short-term or partial disability benefits, mainly because the SSA assumes that you will have access to additional resources for your survival, such as savings, insurance, investments, and/or workers’ compensation.

The SSA will also review your claim periodically to determine whether you are still disabled and unable to work or whether your condition has improved. As a general rule, you will continue to receive benefits if your condition has not changed since your claim was approved.