Social Security Appeals
How can I tell if I am disabled enough to apply for social security benefits?
SSA makes it easier to be found disabled as you get older. It becomes easier for a few people at age 45, for more people at age 50, for most at age 55, and even more people at age 60. If you're over age 55 and you cannot do any job you have done in the past 15 years, you should definitely apply. If you're over age 50 and have a severe impairment that keeps you from doing all but the easiest jobs, you ought to apply.
But you don't have to be bedridden, even if you're a younger person. If you're under age 45 or 50 and you cannot do your past jobs and you cannot work full time at any regular job that ought to be enough. You should apply.
Nevertheless, being unable to work and being found "disabled" by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are two different things. It is often difficult to convince SSA that someone is "disabled" even when they genuinely cannot work. But it is not impossible.