What Medical Conditions Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
If you have suffered a debilitating injury, you may be wondering what happens next. What options do you have for income and benefits, particularly if you can no longer work. What if you don’t have disability insurance? How will you get money to pay bills?
Social Security Disability benefits are an option for many people, but getting approved for them is not exactly easy. There are many medical conditions that qualify for benefits, and they are outlined in the Social Security Administration’s impairment listing manual. Also known as the blue book, this manual has 14 categories of illnesses that can qualify someone for benefits. It is also possible for a person to be approved for benefits if they have a medical condition that is not in the manual, as long as they can prove that the condition has made them disabled.
What are the Categories?
The 14 categories of medical conditions listed in the blue book for adults are the following:
- Musculoskeletal system
- Special senses and speech
- Respiratory disorders
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system
- Genitourinary disorders
- Hematological disorders
- Skin disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems
- Neurological disorders
- Mental disorders
- Immune system disorders
Each category is comprised of dozens of medical conditions. There are also 15 categories for children, which are all the same except for the addition of low birth weight/failure to thrive.
How Does a Person Become Eligible for Benefits?
A person does not have to match a condition exactly in order to receive benefits. If you have aspects of a certain condition that are similar to those listed for a specific illness, this is called equaling a disability listing, and it would qualify you for benefits.
However, even if you don’t meet or equal the criteria set for a certain disease, you can still be approved for benefits if you have a medical condition that is so debilitating that you cannot work. The illness does not have to be in the book. For example, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome and migraine headaches are not listed in the blue book, but they can be considered disabilities.
There are two main factors here. First, the condition must be a medically determinable impairment. Secod, it must reduce someone’s residual functional capacity so much that they cannot do their prior job or any other job.
The Social Security Administration will assess your situation and determine how your condition affects your day-to-day life. They will see if there is any type of job that you can do based on your limitations and your work history for the past 15 years.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits
Some medical conditions are more severe than others and are therefore more likely to be approved for benefits. Are you unsure if your condition qualifies? If so, then seek help from a knowledgeable attorney.