FAQ: Definitions

FAQ:  Definitions for Social Security Disability:

  • What is the legal definition of being disabled?  You are considered disabled by the Social Security Disability Administration if you have a physical condition (disease, injury, mental condition) that prevents you from being able to perform “substantial gainful activity” for at least one year taking into account your age, work history, and education.


  • What is the disability onset date?  The AOD or alleged onset date is the date that you became disabled and unable to work.  Social Security Disability Insurance Claims (SSDI) are limited to back disability benefits of only 12 months.  Since there is a 6 month waiting period, you can only receive back disability benefits for 12 months if you were actually disabled for 17 months.  Since you are only eligible for SSDI if your condition has or will keep you out of work for at least 12 months, your onset date can help you establish this requirement.