It’s a common misconception that Social Security disability is a temporary disability, but it’s actually an ongoing disability, according to the Social Security Administration.
In fact, disability is the official designation of people who have experienced a disabling event or impairment.
Disability is different from other disabilities like Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease, which are permanent and can’t be reduced.
“A disability is when you’re not able to work because of an impairment, or because of a medical condition,” said Susan O’Leary, a disability rights advocate who worked as a government disability policy analyst for Congress from 1990 to 1994.
The Social Security administration defines disability as “the absence of a functional ability that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or that can be corrected through other methods or activities.”
But that doesn’t mean people with disabilities aren’t capable of performing some of their basic needs.
Social Security will take care of some of your basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and medical care, according a guide to the program by the U.S. Census Bureau.
“You’re still covered under the Social Service Act,” said Amy Schulze, a social worker at the Washington, D.C.-based National Disability Rights Network.
“But you don’t have to pay for it.”
Social Security does provide benefits for people who are “fully able to perform work,” such as people with dementia, people with hearing impairments, or people who suffer from a traumatic brain injury, according the guide.
But the disability is not considered a “job loss,” meaning people with a disability can’t take advantage of the programs job training programs, Social Security benefits, and tax benefits, Schulz said.
“They are still working,” she said.
A person who is “fully capable of working,” but has a disability, must still submit proof of a disability to the disability program, SchULZ said.
For example, if you have an impairment that causes you to miss some work, such like a physical disability, you may need to submit a claim to the Disability Benefits Administration, which will then pay for the impairment.
The disability program can also provide services for people with chronic medical conditions that require medical attention, such a heart attack or stroke.
“These are people who cannot work, and they can’t work because they are disabled,” said Schulzing.
People who are fully able to do the work but have a disability will still receive disability benefits for the same activities as people who aren’t disabled, and can take advantage the same tax credits as people without disabilities.
Social security also offers disability survivor benefits, which can help people who lose a job because of disability or other causes.
If you lose a jobs, your benefits can go to your survivor, but if you lose your benefits because of your disability, your employer may still take advantage.
“It’s important to remember that a disability doesn’t automatically mean that you are incapable of working, and the best way to support your spouse, your child, your parents, your partner, or yourself is to find ways to work in a way that is able to support you,” O’Malley said.
If a person needs help finding a job, Social Service workers may help with that, O’Reilly said.
But Social Security doesn’t provide job training or job placement, and there are many different types of employment opportunities, such in retail, public administration, and in food service.
“Social Security can help you find a job in a variety of industries, and it’s not like you have to go to a training facility or find a position at a food service company,” OReilly said, “because Social Security provides the training.”
But the people with the most disabilities have to work the hardest.
“If you’re in a nursing home, you’re going to work harder than someone with a hearing impairment, for example,” Schulzes said.