What medical conditions qualify for disability?

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you will have to prove you have a mental or physical health condition which is so severe that you cannot work for at least 12 continuous months. Recently on our legal forum a user asked, "What medical conditions qualify for disability benefits?"

Conditions which automatically qualify for disability benefits

Assuming you meet the nonmedical qualifications for SSDI and SSI, there are some conditions which are considered so severe that you can expect immediate approval for benefits (more information about nonmedical requirements is discussed below). For example, if you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI or SSI and you have a condition listed on the Compassionate Allowance list, your application will be immediately approved.

What is the Compassionate Allowance List? The Compassionate Allowance list is a listing of conditions the SSA identified as automatically disabling. The SSA has created a process to expedite approval for Compassionate Allowance conditions.
Medical conditions on the SSA Listing of Impairments

Another method the SSA uses to identify severe health conditions is through the Social Security Listing of Impairments. This listing, which used to be published in a blue book and is commonly referred to as "The Blue Book," also has a list of conditions which the SSA accepts as generally disabling.

The caveat, however, is that having a condition which is listed on the Listing of Impairments will not guarantee approval. Claimants will also have to supply medical evidence that their condition causes similar symptoms and is as severe as a listed condition.

What if I don't have a listed condition?

If you do not have a condition on the SSA Listing of Impairments or the Compassionate Allowance list it does not mean you will not be approved for benefits. In fact, some claimants can win SSDI or SSI benefits by either proving their condition is as severe as a condition on the SSA Listing of Impairments or proving all of their conditions in their totality does not allow them to work.

How difficult is it to win benefits?

The bottom line is if you have a listed condition it will be much easier to win
disability benefits. Many claimants who do not have a listed condition will be denied the first time they apply for benefits and will have to gather more medical proof that their condition does not allow them to perform substantial work.

What are the nonmedical requirements for SSDI and SSI?

If you do not meet the nonmedical requirements for disability the SSA will deny your case regardless of the severity of your condition. For SSDI this means you will have to have a condition which is expected to last 12 continuous months, you must not be working or performing substantial gainful activity, and you must be insured for SSDI Benefits. If you do not meet these requirements you will be denied.

SSI also has nonmedical requirements. For instance, you will have to have very limited income and resources, you cannot be working or making too much money, and you must have a condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months.

Related Pages




Latest Question

Why you should use a disability attorney

A disability lawyer is only paid if they win your case. If they win they are paid a specific amount of your back pay up to a predetermined limit.  Hiring a lawyer will generally improve your chances of winning benefits at every stage of the disability process.

Category: Disability