Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Quick Test - Social Security Disability Acronyms

A couple of years back, I wrote the most SSA-acronym-loaded question that I could think of.  While it technically makes sense, I think the real value is providing evidence that expert help is sometimes needed when navigating this landscape.

Here's the question:

"Did the Claimant’s AOD precede the DLI, and does their RFC allow them to engage in SGA or their PRW?"

For those who are wondering what they just read, here is some help with the translation.

Claimant – This is the person who is applying for Social Security benefits.  Children can be Claimants.

PRW – Past Relevant Work – This is work that the Claimant has done for long enough to “learn the job”.

AOD – Alleged Onset Date – This is the date when an ailment rendered an individual too sick to work or created marked and severe limitations.  Evidence is required to establish this date.

DLI – Date Last Insured – This is a date (that may be in the future) after which a person will no longer be able to claim disability benefits.

SGA – Substantial Gainful Activity – This is work that is performed by the Claimant which meets Social Security’s minimum standards for salary and hours worked.

RFC – Residual Functional Capacity – This is a Claimant’s remaining ability to tolerate work, given their conditions.  This may be characterized as “Sedentary / Light / Medium / Heavy / Very Heavy”

Here is a clip from one of my favorite movies, Good Morning Vietnam, (start at 45 seconds) that inspired me to ask the question above.


  1. This is helpful information. My Grandpa has been looking into what benefits he will be able to get from disability. I hope that he is able to get all the benefits that he is able to get. I know that he qualified for some. I hope things are able to work out for him soon.

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