Definition of Disabled for SSI
To qualify for benefits you must meet all of the following:
- You have a significant physical or mental medical impairment.
- Your condition has lasted (or will last) for at least twelve months or it is expected to result in death.
- You are unable to perform "substantial gainful activity"- that is a job of any type. Sometimes volunteer work will count if the work is "substantial." If you are over 50, you may prove disability based on grid rules if you are limited to unskilled sedentary work. If you are over 55, you may prove disability based on grid rules if you are limited to either unskilled sedentary or light duty work.
The Maryland Medical Assistance Program also uses this definition of disability from the Social Security Act. Read the law: 42 U.S.C. 423 (d) (1)
Edited by Richard Neuworth, Esq., Maryland State Bar Association, Section on Elder Law and Disability Rights