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Does Education Affect an SSDI claim?

Tammy, in Oceanside, California, asks “I did not go to college; my highest level of education is High School. Will that make it easier for me to qualify for Social Security Disability?”

When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, your symptoms will be compared to an official book that contains all the listings of impairments (also referred to as the “Blue Book”). If your disability is in the listing of impairments and all of your symptoms match the requirements, then you will probably qualify for disability and your education does not affect the decision.

If your symptoms do not exactly match the listing of impairments, then you must be given a Medical Vocational Allowance in order for you to qualify for disability. A Medical Vocational Allowance is a term used by the Social Security Administration and Disability Determination Services (DDS) when approving a disability claim that does not match a disability in the official Listing of Impairments.

If the DDS examiner or Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) decides that your disability does not meet the requirements of a disability listed in the blue book, then the he/she will take into consideration your disability, age, work experience, and education to decide if your disability prevents you from engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity. If this is the case, then the DDS examiner or ALJ can give you a “Medical Vocational Allowance” and approve your claim.

So, education is taken into consideration when determining if you will be able work.

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