The term “disability” means—
(A) inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months; or
(B) in the case of an individual who has attained the age of 55 and is blind (within the meaning of “blindness” as defined in section 416(i)(1) of this title), inability by reason of such blindness to engage in substantial gainful activity requiring skills or abilities comparable to those of any gainful activity in which he has previously engaged with some regularity and over a substantial period of time.
For purposes of paragraph (1)(A)—
(A) An individual shall be determined to be under a disability only if his physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy, regardless of whether such work exists in the immediate area in which he lives, or whether a specific job vacancy exists for him, or whether he would be hired if he applied for work. For purposes of the preceding sentence (with respect to any individual), “work which exists in the national economy” means work which exists in significant numbers either in the region where such individual lives or in several regions of the country.
(B) In determining whether an individual’s physical or mental impairment or impairments are of a sufficient medical severity that such impairment or impairments could be the basis of eligibility under this section, the Commissioner of Social Security shall consider the combined effect of all of the individual’s impairments without regard to whether any such impairment, if considered separately, would be of such severity. If the Commissioner of Social Security does find a medically severe combination of impairments, the combined impact of the impairments shall be considered throughout the disability determination process.
(C) An individual shall not be considered to be disabled for purposes of this subchapter if alcoholism or drug addiction would (but for this subparagraph) be a contributing factor material to the Commissioner’s determination that the individual is disabled.
(3) For purposes of this subsection, a “physical or mental impairment” is an impairment that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities which are demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.
(A) The Commissioner of Social Security shall by regulations prescribe the criteria for determining when services performed or earnings derived from services demonstrate an individual’s ability to engage in substantial gainful activity. No individual who is blind shall be regarded as having demonstrated an ability to engage in substantial gainful activity on the basis of earnings that do not exceed an amount equal to the exempt amount which would be applicable under section 403(f)(8) of this title, to individuals described in subparagraph (D) thereof, if section 102 of the Senior Citizens’ Right to Work Act of 1996 had not been enacted. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2), an individual whose services or earnings meet such criteria shall, except for purposes of section 422(c) of this title, be found not to be disabled. In determining whether an individual is able to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of his earnings, where his disability is sufficiently severe to result in a functional limitation requiring assistance in order for him to work, there shall be excluded from such earnings an amount equal to the cost (to such individual) of any attendant care services, medical devices, equipment, prostheses, and similar items and services (not including routine drugs or routine medical services unless such drugs or services are necessary for the control of the disabling condition) which are necessary (as determined by the Commissioner of Social Security in regulations) for that purpose, whether or not such assistance is also needed to enable him to carry out his normal daily functions; except that the amounts to be excluded shall be subject to such reasonable limits as the Commissioner of Social Security may prescribe.
(B) In determining under subparagraph (A) when services performed or earnings derived from services demonstrate an individual’s ability to engage in substantial gainful activity, the Commissioner of Social Security shall apply the criteria described in subparagraph (A) with respect to services performed by any individual without regard to the legality of such services.
Subject to clause (ii), in determining when earnings derived from services demonstrate an individual’s ability to engage in substantial gainful activity, such earnings shall be presumed to have been earned—(I) in making a determination of initial entitlement on the basis of disability, in the month in which the services were performed from which such earnings were derived; and(II) in any other case, in the month in which such earnings were paid.
A presumption made under clause (i) shall not apply to a determination described in such clause if—(I) the Commissioner can reasonably establish, based on evidence readily available at the time of such determination, that the earnings were earned in a different month than when paid; or(II) in any case in which there is a determination that no benefit is payable due to earnings, after the individual is notified of the presumption made and provided with an opportunity to submit additional information along with an explanation of what additional information is needed, the individual shows to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that such earnings were earned in another month.
(A) An individual shall not be considered to be under a disability unless he furnishes such medical and other evidence of the existence thereof as the Commissioner of Social Security may require. An individual’s statement as to pain or other symptoms shall not alone be conclusive evidence of disability as defined in this section; there must be medical signs and findings, established by medically acceptable clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques, which show the existence of a medical impairment that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities which could reasonably be expected to produce the pain or other symptoms alleged and which, when considered with all evidence required to be furnished under this paragraph (including statements of the individual or his physician as to the intensity and persistence of such pain or other symptoms which may reasonably be accepted as consistent with the medical signs and findings), would lead to a conclusion that the individual is under a disability. Objective medical evidence of pain or other symptoms established by medically acceptable clinical or laboratory techniques (for example, deteriorating nerve or muscle tissue) must be considered in reaching a conclusion as to whether the individual is under a disability. Any non-Federal hospital, clinic, laboratory, or other provider of medical services, or physician not in the employ of the Federal Government, which supplies medical evidence required and requested by the Commissioner of Social Security under this paragraph shall be entitled to payment from the Commissioner of Social Security for the reasonable cost of providing such evidence.
(B) In making any determination with respect to whether an individual is under a disability or continues to be under a disability, the Commissioner of Social Security shall consider all evidence available in such individual’s case record, and shall develop a complete medical history of at least the preceding twelve months for any case in which a determination is made that the individual is not under a disability. In making any determination the Commissioner of Social Security shall make every reasonable effort to obtain from the individual’s treating physician (or other treating health care provider) all medical evidence, including diagnostic tests, necessary in order to properly make such determination, prior to evaluating medical evidence obtained from any other source on a consultative basis.
In making any determination with respect to whether an individual is under a disability or continues to be under a disability, the Commissioner of Social Security may not consider (except for good cause as determined by the Commissioner) any evidence furnished by—(I) any individual or entity who has been convicted of a felony under section 408 of this title or under section 1383a of this title;(II) any individual or entity who has been excluded from participation in any Federal health care program under section 1320a–7 of this title; or(III) any person with respect to whom a civil money penalty or assessment has been imposed under section 1320a–8 of this title for the submission of false evidence.
To the extent and at such times as is necessary for the effective implementation of clause (i) of this subparagraph—(I) the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration shall transmit to the Commissioner information relating to persons described in subclause (I) or (III) of clause (i); 2
2 So in original. Probably should be followed by “and”.(II) the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall transmit to the Commissioner information relating to persons described in subclause (II) of clause (i); and 3
3 So in original. The “; and” probably should be a period.
(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, any physical or mental impairment which arises in connection with the commission by an individual (after October 19, 1980) of an offense which constitutes a felony under applicable law and for which such individual is subsequently convicted, or which is aggravated in connection with such an offense (but only to the extent so aggravated), shall not be considered in determining whether an individual is under a disability.
(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, any physical or mental impairment which arises in connection with an individual’s confinement in a jail, prison, or other penal institution or correctional facility pursuant to such individual’s conviction of an offense (committed after October 19, 1980) constituting a felony under applicable law, or which is aggravated in connection with such a confinement (but only to the extent so aggravated), shall not be considered in determining whether such individual is under a disability for purposes of benefits payable for any month during which such individual is so confined.
(Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, title II, § 223, as added Aug. 1, 1956, ch. 836, title I, § 103(a), 70 Stat. 815; amended Pub. L. 85–840, title II, §§ 202, 204(b), Aug. 28, 1958, 72 Stat. 1020, 1021; Pub. L. 86–778, title III, § 303(f), title IV, §§ 401(a), (b), 402(a)–(d), 403(b), Sept. 13, 1960, 74 Stat. 964, 967, 969; Pub. L. 87–64, title I, § 102(b)(2)(B), (C), (c)(2)(C), (3)(D), (E), June 30, 1961, 75 Stat. 134, 135; Pub. L. 89–97, title III, §§ 302(e), 303(a)(2), (b)(3), (4), (c), 304(m), (n), 328(c), 344(b)–(d), July 30, 1965, 79 Stat. 366, 367, 370, 400, 413; Pub. L. 90–248, title I, §§ 105(b), 158(a), (b), (c)(6)–(8), Jan. 2, 1968, 81 Stat. 833, 867–869; Pub. L. 92–603, title I, §§ 104(c), (d), 116(a), 117(b), 118(a), Oct. 30, 1972, 86 Stat. 1340, 1350, 1351; Pub. L. 95–216, title III, § 335, Dec. 20, 1977, 91 Stat. 1547; Pub. L. 96–265, title I, § 102(b), title III, §§ 302(a)(1), 303(b)(1)(A), (2)(A), 306(c), 309(a), June 9, 1980, 94 Stat. 443, 450, 451, 453, 458, 459; Pub. L. 96–473, § 5(a)(1), (c), Oct. 19, 1980, 94 Stat. 2264, 2265; Pub. L. 97–123, § 6, Dec. 29, 1981, 95 Stat. 1664; Pub. L. 97–455, § 2, Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2498; Pub. L. 98–21, title II, § 201(c)(1)(E), (3), title III, §§ 309(o), 332(b), 339(b), Apr. 20, 1983, 97 Stat. 109, 117, 129, 134; Pub. L. 98–118, § 2, Oct. 11, 1983, 97 Stat. 803; Pub. L. 98–369, div. B, title VI, §§ 2661(m), 2662(c)(2), (i), 2663(a)(16), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 1158–1160, 1165; Pub. L. 98–460, §§ 2(a), 3(a)(1), 4(a)(1), 7(a), 9(b)(1), Oct. 9, 1984, 98 Stat. 1794, 1799, 1800, 1803, 1805; Pub. L. 99–272, title XII, § 12107(b), Apr. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 286; Pub. L. 99–514, title XVIII, § 1883(a)(10), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2916; Pub. L. 100–203, title IX, §§ 9009, 9010(a), (e)(2), Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1330–293, 1330–294; Pub. L. 100–647, title VIII, §§ 8001(a), 8006, Nov. 10, 1988, 102 Stat. 3778, 3781; Pub. L. 101–239, title X, §§ 10101, 10305(c), (d), Dec. 19, 1989, 103 Stat. 2471, 2483; Pub. L. 101–508, title V, §§ 5102, 5103(a), (b)(2)–(5), 5118(a), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–250, 1388–251, 1388–278; Pub. L. 103–296, title I, § 107(a)(4), title II, § 201(a)(4)(A), title III, § 321(a)(19), (f)(1), Aug. 15, 1994, 108 Stat. 1478, 1499, 1537, 1540; Pub. L. 104–121, title I, §§ 102(b)(2), 105(a)(1), Mar. 29, 1996, 110 Stat. 848, 852; Pub. L. 106–170, title I, § 112(a), Dec. 17, 1999, 113 Stat. 1881; Pub. L. 108–203, title II, § 211(b), Mar. 2, 2004, 118 Stat. 518; Pub. L. 114–74, title VIII, §§ 812(a), 825(a), Nov. 2, 2015, 129 Stat. 602, 610; Pub. L. 116–250, § 2(a), Dec. 22, 2020, 134 Stat. 1128.)