When you file a Social Security Disability Insurance claim, you must provide proof of your impairment. Before you file, gather and organize all the documents you already have to make the application process as easy as possible. 

You must have evidence that your disability meets the Social Security Administration’s particular criteria. 

The SSA’s definition of disability 

The SSA defines disability as “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity.” This definition includes both physical and mental handicaps or impairments. You must have had the disabling condition for at least a year. If you have not had the impairment that long, your doctor or another medical professional must believe it will affect you for at least a year. Additionally, any impairment that is likely to result in your death qualifies. 

Qualifying disabilities 

Your disability must be “medically determinable” to qualify for SSDI. In other words, a doctor or other licensed medical professional must be able to show you have the disability through evidence. It is not enough for your doctor to say you have the condition. 

Impairments can be physical issues, including motor function and control, as well as neurological conditions affecting the brain. Certain mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder and anxiety, may also qualify. 

Required evidence 

The SSA asks for specific types of evidence as verification of your disability. Your documented proof must come from an acceptable medical source such as a licensed physician, psychologist or another approved professional. Otherwise, the SSA may not consider it reliable evidence. 

Visit our webpage on proof of impairment for more information on moving forward with your Social Security Disability claim.