What Conditions Qualify for Disability? (And How to Apply)

Discover the wide range of medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits. Explore eligibility criteria, the application process, and essential information to make an informed decision. Get the details now!

frustrated man contemplating what conditions qualify for disability

If you or someone you care about has experienced a disability or if a medical condition has recently worsened, rendering you unable to work, it’s natural to question whether you meet the eligibility criteria for receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program, administered by the Social Security Administration, provides financial support to individuals with disabilities. Continue reading to discover the specific disabilities that qualify for SSI payments and learn about the essential steps involved in applying for these benefits.

What is Considered a Disability by Social Security?

The Social Security Administration applies a stringent definition of disability when determining SSI cases. According to the Act, an individual is deemed disabled if they are unable to work due to a severe medical condition that is anticipated to endure for a minimum of one year or ultimately lead to death.

Differences Between SSD and SSI

The significant difference is that SSI determination is based on age/disability and limited income and resources, whereas SSDI determination is based on disability and work credits. Other differences include that many states pay some people who receive SSI an additional amount called a “state supplement,” whereas SSDI recipients do not receive this. Different medical insurances are included with each program. In addition, there are different waiting periods for benefits for each program.

Conditions Recognized as Disabilities

Fourteen categories of conditions are recognized as disabilities and are eligible for SSI and SSDI benefits. You can find more information on which disabilities are eligible for SSI or SSDI benefits here:

  1. Musculoskeletal Disorders: Social Security evaluates disorders of the skeletal spine (vertebral column) or of the upper or lower extremities that affect musculoskeletal functioning under Musculoskeletal Disorders.
  2. Special Senses and Speech: Visual disorders are abnormalities of the eye, the optic nerve, the optic tracts, or the brain that may cause a loss of visual acuity or visual fields. Social Security also evaluates hearing disorders.
  3. Respiratory Disorders: Social Security evaluates respiratory disorders that result in obstruction (difficulty moving air out of the lungs) or restriction (difficulty moving air into the lungs), or that interfere with diffusion (gas exchange) across cell membranes in the lungs.
  4. Cardiovascular System: Social Security evaluates disorders that affect the proper functioning of the heart or the circulatory system (that is, arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymphatic drainage). The disorder can be congenital or acquired.
  5. Digestive System: The Social Security Administration evaluates digestive system disorders, including gastrointestinal bleeding, hepatic (liver) dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease, short bowel syndrome, and malnutrition.
  6. Genitourinary Disorders: Social Security evaluates genitourinary disorders resulting in chronic kidney disease (CKD).
  7. Hematological Disorders: These disorders disrupt the normal development and function of white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and clotting factor proteins (factors).
  8. Skin Disorders: These listings cover impairments such as Ichthyosis, bullous diseases, chronic skin or mucous membranes infections, dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, genetic photosensitivity disorders, and burns.
  9. Endocrine Disorders: An endocrine disorder is a medical condition that causes a hormonal imbalance.
  10. Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems: Only non-mosaic Down syndrome under this body system is evaluated by the Social Security Administration.
  11. Neurological Disorders: The Social Security Administration evaluates neurological disorders that may manifest in a combination of limitations in physical and mental functioning.
  12. Mental Disorders: Eleven different disorders are covered under the mental disorders category by the Social Security Administration.
  13. Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases): The Social Security Administration evaluates all cancers (malignant neoplastic diseases) except certain cancers associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
  14. Immune System Disorders: The Social Security Administration evaluates immune system disorders that cause dysfunction in one or more components of your immune system.

Most Approved Disabilities for Benefits

A “presumptive” disability entitles you to the fastest approval of any disability when applying for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. These disabilities are generally quite severe and include the following. You can find more information here:

  • Parkinson’s
  • Advanced Forms of Cancers
  • ALS
  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia

Also Read: How to Win a Disability Reconsideration Appeal (9 Easy Steps)

Need Help in Applying for SSI or SSDI Benefits? Call Us!

The experienced and knowledgeable social security disability attorneys at Evans Disability can answer your questions regarding applying for Social Security Benefits. Call them today at (855) 360-1010 for a free consultation.

SSI Disability Benefits Application Process

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness who have income and resources below specific financial limits. SSI payments are also made to people aged 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial qualifications.

You must earn less than $1,913 per month in wages (before taxes and other deductions) or self-employment (after deduction of allowable business expenses) if you are an individual. In addition, you must not have more than $2,000 in total resources if you are an individual to be approved.

You can apply for SSI disability benefits online or by appointment with a local Social Security office. Additionally, you can call 1-800-772-1213, and the Social Security Representatives can assist you in obtaining an application.

Also Read: Can You Work While On Disability?

How to Apply for Disability Benefits

  1. Confirm that you meet the financial and resource limits for the SSI program.
  2. Have a conversation with your doctor or medical team to see if they would encourage you to apply.
  3. Fill out and submit your SSI application online or via an appointment with your local Social Security Office.

Understanding the SSI Disability Approval Process

It takes about 3 to 5 months to get a decision from Social Security. However, the exact time depends on how long it takes to get your medical records and any other evidence needed to make a decision. This waiting period ensures that applicants have long-term disabilities before receiving benefits.

You may have to go through other steps through the Disability Determination Services to get approved for Social Security benefits. About two-thirds of Supplemental Security Income applicants will be initially denied and must undergo the appeal and redetermination process.

The experienced and knowledgeable social security disability attorneys at Evans Disability can answer your questions regarding applying for Social Security Benefits. Call them today at (855) 360-1010 to schedule a free consultation.