TN 1 (10-12)
DI 00115.015 Definitions of Disability
Social Security Act, Section 216(i) , Section 223(d)(1) , and Section 1614(a)(3)(C)
20 CFR 404.1505 , 416.905 , 416.906
For all persons applying for disability benefits under title II, and for adults applying under title XVI, the definition of disability is the same.
A. Definition of disability for adults
Under title II and title XVI, we consider a person disabled under Social Security rules if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment (or combination of impairments):
that prevents him or her from doing any substantial gainful activity (SGA), and
has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months, or is expected to result in death.
NOTE: The definition of disability also applies to persons applying for child’s insurance benefits based on disability before age 22 and for disability benefits payable after December 1990 as a widow(er) or surviving divorced spouse.
B. Definition of disability for children under age 18
Under title XVI, we consider a child under age 18 disabled under Social Security rules if:
C. Definition of blindness
There are different rules for determining disability for persons who are statutorily blind. See information on the definition of blindness in DI 26001.001.
DI 10501.001 Meaning of SGA and Scope of Subchapter