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A disability is about more than an injury

The Social Security Administration (SSA) carefully evaluates every single case that they get when people claim they are disabled and can no longer work. Every case has its own set of facts and important details. Do not assume that any two cases are the same or that an injury will absolutely qualify just because you know someone else with a similar injury or you read a news report about that type of injury.

After all, the case is about more than just the injury. They need to know how it relates to your specific employment. They’ll ask you how you were trained, “how you did your job” and how the injury impacts that ability.

What they want to see is not just that you are injured, but that the injury makes it impossible to carry out your chosen profession. If you can still do the job despite your injury, perhaps with adjustments to the job, they may determine that you’re not actually disabled.

This comes as a surprise to some people when they have life-changing injuries that they know will never heal. They assume that the lack of healing and improvement, and the reduction in physical ability, absolutely mean they are disabled. It may in some professions, but it may not in others. That’s why these cases are complex and why they can take time as the SSA sorts it all out.

You may also find that you do not agree with whatever they decide about the case. Make sure you know what legal options you have and what steps you can take.

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