If you do not meet a listed impairment and you can not return to your previous work, to determine whether or not you get disability, you can check with a special chart contained within the social security regulations. This chart can determine the level of exertion one can work at by using the age, education, and past work experience of the applicant. The chart will tell you if you are disabled or not according to the rules. The older you are and closer to retirement, the easier it is to qualify, but the younger you are, the harder it is to qualify with this chart.