Charlotte disability lawyers discuss what it means to be “disabled”

A disability lawyer may help you show proof why you can no longer work. Call our Charlotte disability lawyers at (704)815-6055.

As Charlotte disability lawyers, we are sometimes asked about the concept of being "totally and permanently" disabled. This is a workers' compensation concept, not a Social Security disability concept. In order to be awarded Social Security disability benefits, you do not have to be "permanently" disabled; you have to be disabled for a minimum of 12 months. Nor do you have to be "totally" disabled. In fact, most people who apply for Social Security disability benefits are capable of doing some type of work. In most cases, the Social Security disability determination turns on whether there are a significant number of jobs you are capable of doing, considering your age, education and work experience. The younger you are, the more difficult it will be to prove you are "disabled." In general:

If you are under age 50, you will have to prove that you are not capable of performing sedentary work. This means you will have to prove that you cannot do an easy job that requires sitting for most of the workday or alternating periods of sitting and standing. Even if you might not be hired for a job like this, you still have to make this proof.

If you are age 50 through 54, the disability determination will turn on your ability to do light work - that is, work that involves being on your feet most of the day and lifting up to 20 pounds. Even if you are able to do a sedentary sit-down job, you can still be found disabled if you prove that you cannot do light work.

If you are age 55 or older, the disability determination will turn on your ability to do "medium" work - work that involves being on your feet for most of the day, frequently lifting 25 pounds, and occasionally lifting up to 50 pounds. If you establish that you are not able to do medium work, you may be found disabled, even if you are able to do light and sedentary work.

The rules governing the Social Security disability determination are complicated, and the application of these rules can be tricky, regardless of your age. An experienced Charlotte disability lawyer can help you present a persuasive case. Please contact us if you would like us to review your situation.