Terms used in the definition of disability are to be interpreted generally as follows:
“Permanence” does not rule out the possibility of rehabilitation, restoration, or even recovery
from the impairment. Individuals sometimes respond favorably to treatment after an
unfavorable prognosis, or the disabling condition becomes arrested. The discovery
of new drugs or other advances in medical treatment is always a potential which may
change a “permanent” situation, but pending actual improvement the impairment may be considered to be
The term “totally” like “permanently” is not an absolute term in that it must be considered in reference to the ability
of the individual, as revealed by the facts in his situation, to perform those activities
necessary to carry out specified responsibilities, such as those necessary to employment
or homemaking. “Totally” involves considerations in addition to those verified through the medical findings,
such as age, training, skills and work experience, and the probable functioning of
the individual in his particular situation in the light of his impairment.
The term “substantially precludes” relates to the extent to which an individual is able to engage in the activities
necessary to carrying on specified responsibilities, such as those related to employment
or homemaking. If an individual is able to engage in such activities well enough and
with sufficient regularity to receive the usual wage for his own efforts, or to carry
homemaking responsibilities on a continuing basis, he is not considered as precluded
from engaging in “useful occupations” and cannot be found to be a permanently and totally disabled individual. However,
an individual may be substantially precluded from engaging in a useful occupation
even though he is able to work for short periods. The fact that some remuneration
may be received from a “useful occupation” does not preclude a finding of permanent and total disability.
The term “useful occupations” means productive activities which add to the economic wealth, or produce goods or
services to which may be attached a money value. As used in this context “useful occupations” demand the time and attention of the doer for the ultimate benefits of others.
Not included in “useful occupations” would be such activities as hobbies; activity which does not provide a bona fide
job opportunity, i.e., if the individual stopped doing it no one would be hired to
replace him; that part of a rehabilitation program which is officially designated
as “training” , and which is carried on under supervision.
“Homemaking” within the above interpretation of “useful occupations” involves ability to carry the home management and decision-making responsibilities
and provide essential service within the home for at least one person in addition
to one's self. “Homemaking” is not an employment situation that may be entered for hire but proceeds from a social
situation that exists around the individual, either a man or woman, who has assumed
The following activities are important to the successful performance of the occupation
of homemaking—shopping for food and supplies; planning and preparing meals; washing
dishes cleaning house; making beds; washing and ironing clothes. In addition, if the
care of young children is within the “homemaking” responsibilities—lifting and carrying infants and, in emergency, pre-school children;
bathing and dressing young children, training and supervising children, accompanying
children to community activities, source of medical care, etc.
A finding that a person is unable to perform the occupation of homemaking would require
a determination that the individual is unable to perform a significant combination
of these activities because of his impairment, unable to perform for the required
number of hours daily, or to perform predictably enough to meet the responsibilities