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What does it mean to be Disabled under Social Security Law

What does it mean to be Disabled under Social Security Law

At first glance, this question may seem counterintuitive.  If one is applying for Social Security Disability benefits, they are obviously saying that they cannot work aren’t they?  Generally, the answer would be no.

Being disabled under Social Security Disability Law does not mean that a claimant is unable to perform any type of work, it means that the applicant believes that they are unable to maintain steady employment given their medical conditions.  If you think about this, it does make sense.

If you can make your bed at home-there are jobs where employees are paid to clean rooms and make beds.  If you can make a sandwich for lunch-there are jobs where people are paid to make sandwiches.  In the past 30 years that I have done disability law, only a handful of my clients were unable to do any type of work, so that is not how I typically approach a case.

If your condition(s) would cause you to miss 2 days of work a month, then you cannot maintain steady employment as that much time away from work (nearly a month during 12 months) would lead to your termination.  If your problems would cause you to be “off task” for 15% of the time, you couldn’t keep a job as your employer rightfully expects you to be able to maintain proper concentration and focus in order to adequately perform your job duties.  If you have to regularly take unscheduled work breaks-keeping a job would be difficult since an employer expects you to be at your work site when scheduled to be there.  Leaving work early or coming in late on any sort of regular basis will cause you to lose your job.  These are problems those who suffer with chronic disabling conditions face when attempting to work.

We argue that our clients cannot keep a job because of their illnesses; that is all you need to show:

“Disability does not mean that a claimant must vegetate in a dark room excluded from all forms of human and social activity….[A]n applicant need not be completely bedridden or unable to perform any household chores to be considered disabled….What counts is the ability to perform as required on a daily basis in the sometimes competitive and stressful environment of the working world.”  Bennett v. Barnhart, 288 F.Supp. 2d 1246 (N.D.Ala.2003).


If you are denied Social Security Disability benefits-or if you would like the help of a lawyer during the application process, don’t give up, you really should call an experienced Alabama Social Security Disability Lawyer.  Contact and speak with one of the knowledgeable Alabama Disability Attorneys at Powell and Denny today for a free consultation.  Virtual appointments are available through Zoom, so you have meet with one of our experienced Disability Lawyers from the safety, convenience and comfort of home wherever you live in Alabama or Tennessee.

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Mr. Denny is AV rated by Martindale Hubbard (the highest rating possible) and Mr. Powell has been rated as Superior by The National Registry

+ Powell and Denny have successfully represented disabled person from Birmingham, Huntsville, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Athens, Decatur, Town Creek Ardmore, Hartselle, Madison, Toney, Scottsboro, Ft. Payne, New Hope, Guntersville, Albertville, Boaz, Ashville, Anniston, Gadsden, Cullman, Jasper, Gardendale, Morris, Kimberly, Centerpoint, Leeds, Tarrant City, Fairfield, Hueytown, Bessemer, Adger, Tuscaloosa, Cordova, Alabaster, Pelham, Harpersville, Opelika, Phenix City, Montgomery, Clanton, Calera, Enterprise, Monroeville, Mobile, Evergreen, Pelham, Alabaster, Calera, Centre and towns and cities in between.



What does it meant to be Disabled under Social Security Law

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