What if I am partially disabled? Do I qualify for discharge?

Through our discussions of disability discharge we keep calling it total and permanent disability.  But what if you are partially disabled, can you qualify?

Well maybe.

There are three ways to qualify for Total and Permanent Disability Discharge:

  1. a) If you are a veteran, you can submit documentation from the VA showing that the VA has determined that you are unemployable due to a service-connected disability;
  2. b) If you are receiving SSDI or SSI benefits, you can submit an SSA notice of award for SSDI or SSI benefits stating that your next scheduled disability review will be within 5 to 7 years from the date of your most recent SSA disability determination; or
  3. c) You can submit certification from a physician that you are totally and permanently disabled. Your physician must certify that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that:

-Can be expected to result in death;

-Has lasted for a continuous period of not less than 60 months; or

-Can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 60 months.

If you will show that you are totally and permanently disabled by submitting a physician’s certification, the physician will need to certify that you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity. So its not being able to not work at all but not being able to engage in the department’s definition of substantial gainful activity.  This is defined as a level of work performed for pay or profit that involves doing significant physical or mental activities, or both.

In essence if you are able to work at this level you cannot be considered permanently and totally disabled but if you cannot you are regardless partial or total disability.

Please also note this is with any substantial gainful activity.  If you are unable to work in your trained occupation but can work in other substantial work, you are not able to qualify for a disability discharge.

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