Q: I know I am eligible to apply for disability benefits based on my earnings record. But how does Social Security decide whether I am disabled?
A: Overall, we use a five-step evaluation process to decide whether you are disabled. The process considers any current work activity you are doing. It also considers the severity of your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work. To be found disabled:
You must be unable to do work you did before you became disabled and we must decide you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition; and
Your disability must last, or be expected to last, for at least one year or to result in death.
Social Security pays only for total disability. We do not pay benefits for partial or short-term disability.
Returning to work?
Q: If I go back to work, will I automatically lose my Social Security disability benefits?
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