What Medical Conditions Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Doctor holding a patient's handThe Social Security Administration (SSA) has outlined certain medical conditions that qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. However, there are some conditions that are not explicitly listed that may still qualify.

Below, our Social Security Disability attorneys in Oshkosh discuss what medical conditions often qualify and what conditions may require additional review prior to approval.

If you need help filing your SSD claim to receive benefits, call us today. We offer a free consultation to see how we may be able to assist you. We also do not charge you anything during the process. We only get paid when you are approved for benefits.

What Medical Conditions Are Usually Approved for SSD?

There are certain medical conditions that are commonly approved for SSD benefits. These medical conditions include the following:

  • Arthritis – There are more than 100 types of arthritis and other joint pain or joint disease related conditions including osteoporosis and metabolic arthritis.
  • Heart disease – This includes any diseases affecting the cardiovascular system, including the heart and blood vessels that could lead to cardiac arrest, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
  • Degenerative disc disease – This can occur when the discs in your spine begin to wear down and the vertebrae in your spine lose cushioning, resulting in neck and back pain that could lead to paralysis if left untreated.
  • Respiratory illness – This includes any disease affecting the airways and other lung structures, including obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and pulmonary hypertension.
  • Cancer – Many malignant cancers, like lymphoma, skin cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, leukemia and breast cancer are often approved for benefits.
  • Stroke – A stroke causes brain tissue to die, which can lead to brain damage and severe disability.
  • Nervous system disorders – This includes disorders like epilepsy, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease and Bell’s palsy.
  • Diabetes – Although not a disabling condition when treated, it can lead to serious complications that may result in disability, such as glaucoma or amputations.
  • Immune system disorders – This includes conditions like autoimmune disorders, including lupus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and rheumatoid arthritis.

What Conditions Might Qualify for SSD But Require Additional Evaluation?

The SSA lists 14 categories of conditions that may qualify for SSD benefits. Under each of those categories, there are lists of diseases and disorders that are likely to be approved for SSD benefits.

However, some conditions and diseases require additional medical evaluation before the SSA decides to approve the individual who is applying for benefits.

Most of the conditions that require additional evaluation are mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and other related disorders, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders, and personality disorders.

The SSA requires medical evidence from a non-biased source establishing that the applicant has a medically determinable mental disorder that affects his or her ability to work. The SSA also requires non-medical evidence from the following:

  • The applicant
  • People who know the applicant
  • School
  • Vocational training
  • Work
  • Work-related programs

Mental disorders also require longitudinal evidence. This means long-term medical and non-medical evidence that can help the SSA evaluate the variations in the applicant’s ability to function socially and in a work environment.

What if My Medical Condition Does Not Match One in the Blue Book?

You may still qualify for SSD benefits even if your medical condition does not exactly match one of the conditions listed in the SSA’s Blue Book.

You may be able to qualify through a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) evaluation. The purpose of an RFC evaluation is to determine how your physical and mental limitations prevent you from working.

An RFC evaluation is not a physical examination. Instead, it is a review of your medical records, including notes from your treating doctor(s), to determine your mental and physical restrictions.

Once the RFC evaluation is completed, the SSA will use that to determine whether your medical condition qualifies for SSD benefits. Generally, the SSA only approves those whose RFC rating is medium work or less.

Need Help Filing for Benefits? Call Us Today

If you need assistance filing for SSD benefits because you are unable to work due to a medical condition, call us today.

Our attorneys have helped others in this same situation for decades. We offer a free legal consultation to see how we may be able to assist you.

If you choose to work with us, you do not pay unless we successfully recover benefits for you.

Call us today at (877) 888-5201 to schedule your free consultation.