As a tax-paying resident of Alabama, you may expect the government to step in and help you when you suffer a disability or develop a condition severe enough to keep you from working. The process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is often long and arduous, though. You may, too, have your initial application denied unless you meet a narrow definition of the term, “disability.”

Per the U.S. Social Security Administration, you must have a certain amount of work history in a position covered by Social Security for the administration to consider extending you benefits. Also, you must have a serious and debilitating disability that is severe enough that doctors expect it to last for at least a year and potentially up until your death. Your condition must also meet the following criteria in order for the SSA to consider granting you SSDI benefits.

It prevents you from doing your old job

The SSA does not grant partial benefits to anyone. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must prove that you have a total disability and are unable to continue to perform the work you were doing prior to experiencing your disability.

It prevents you from doing other jobs

The SSA is not going to approve you for benefits if you have the ability to adjust to different work than you performed prior to your disability. You may receive approval for benefits, however, if the administration decides that your condition is such that it keeps you from performing basic functions that are necessary for employment. For example, if you have lost the ability to speak, hear or move about without help, you may have a better chance of having the administration approve you.