Sometimes when I am meeting with a prospective client they tell me they know someone who is on disability and “there is nothing wrong with them.” Usually it’s a friend, coworker or relative and they relate that this person is on disability and seems to be perfectly fine. This leads to a very important point about disability eligibility.
For a person to be considered disabled under Social Security rules and regulations is complex. Many factors go into the disability determination that are beyond a person’s medical condition. It is impossible to know all the factors that went into their neighbor, coworker or brother-in-law’s determination and the person may have had underlying medical conditions that were not apparent to the naked eye.
It’s also possible that two people can have the exact same medical condition and one will be found disabled and the other will not. This is because the non-medical factors in one individual’s case provided the basis for disability and in the other case precludes them.
As I tell potential clients, each case is different and everyone’s facts are unique to them as individuals. The most important thing to know in your case is all of the facts that are necessary to make the disability determination about you. What happen in another person’s case is totally irrelevant to any else’s claim, even if they look similar from an outside perspective.