Disability means inability to engage in any SGA by reason of any medically determinable
physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death, or has lasted
or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
The 1967 amendments specified that workers shall be determined to be under a disability
only if the physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that
the individual 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. This is regardless of whether:
such work exists in the immediate area in which the claimant lives, or
a specific job vacancy exists, or
the claimant would be hired if he or she applied for work.
The statute also specifies that “work which exists in the national economy means work
which exists in significant numbers either in the region where such individuals lives
or in several regions of the country.”