What Medical Conditions Qualify for Disability Benefits?

Adult disabilities can qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A wide range of physical, mental, and emotional impairments may qualify as a disability depending on the severity of the condition.

Overview of Disability Benefits

The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs provide income support to individuals who are unable to work due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment. Generally, those eligible for benefits must have a disability they expect to last one year or longer and accumulate enough work credits in a specific time period. In addition, the disability must be defined by Social Security as either “severe” or “very severe” with limited ability to do basic activities such as standing, walking, lifting and other manual labor-type activities.

Some may argue that applying for disability benefits is too complicated and time consuming, which can make it difficult for disabled individuals to access the resources they need. There are also those who believe that certain disabilities—including behavioral and psychological conditions—are not taken seriously or covered by the current standards of eligibility for these programs. Similarly, there are concerns regarding whether applicants’ claims are being adequately assessed on an individual basis rather than being processed through a bureaucratic system.

On the other hand, proponents of the current system point out that it helps protect against fraud by requiring extensive medical evidence for claims before providing benefits. And while qualifying criteria could certainly stand to be expanded in some cases, many people feel that Social Security offers much needed financial support to those truly in need thanks to its eligibility standards.

Overall, it is clear that establishing which medical conditions qualify for Social Security and SSI disability benefits is inherently complex due to the subjective nature of evaluating disability claims. Moving forward, it is important that disability programs offer more transparency and accountability when determining eligibility so more individuals with disabilities can gain access to vital income support with less red tape.

Now that we’ve established an overview of disability benefits and discussed both sides of the argument surrounding them, let’s take a deeper look at what types of disability programs available and how one can apply for them.

Disability Programs Available

When it comes to identifying line of qualifying medical conditions for disability benefits, there are two routes: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplementary Security Income (SSI). SSDI provides financial aid to individuals who are disabled and have accumulated enough work credits through employment or self-employment. SSI, on the other hand, stands as an assistive resource for those who lack sufficient work history but meet income qualifications, in addition to covering disabled children.

Supporters of SSDI and SSI argue that these programs provide much needed aid in helping individuals receive assistance with financial matters and medical treatments related to their disabilities. Furthermore, those who qualify can access additional aid through the Medicaid program, which helps pay for basic healthcare expenses such as doctor visits and medicines.

Opponents of SSDI andSSI suggest that these programs often go beyond the scope of only providing disability benefits to those truly in need. While the work credit system is designed to reward those who make contributions to the economy through work activities, one may be discluded from receiving benefits simply because they haven’t worked enough or have not worked lately. Additionally, abuse of public funds serves as a fear perpetuated due to fraudulent applications and fraudulent claims.

The government’s role when it comes to disability benefits is ultimately prescribed by Congress, making the decisions made within both programs open to changes in policy dictated by Congress over time.

After careful consideration of both sides’ perspectives, it is clear that assessing which applicants qualify for state-based social security programs ought to remain a decision determined on an individual basis. Moving forward, the next section will focus on discussing physical and mental health conditions that align with acceptance criteria under SSDI and SSI eligibility standards.

Physical and Mental Conditions That Qualify

When it comes to medical problems and disability benefits, physical and mental conditions can both qualify. Mental disorders may include psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), workers should not be denied employment or advancement opportunities based on having a mental illness; however, some individuals with such illnesses can still qualify for disability benefits if their condition prevents them from performing work related duties.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) enforces strict criteria for physical and mental impairments that must exist for more than a year and would cause “substantial” disruption in an individual’s ability to perform daily activities, including working. Depending on the problems suffered, these disabilities can range anywhere from chronic headaches to severe back pain. Not every disability would be eligible for compensation, as many are seen as lesser issues and wouldn’t meet the criteria set forth by SSA.

Many people argue that physical and mental conditions should be equally considered when it comes to determining eligibility for disability benefits. According to this camp, full consideration of all medical issues should be given in order to truly reflect each individual’s unique circumstances. Others dispute this by noting that different types of disabilities require different levels of assistance, which then creates financial challenges for both employers and governments – making distinctions needed so that help is directed in the most effective manner possible.

No matter what side of the debate one falls on, it is clear that both physical and mental conditions have a place in determining eligibility for disability benefits. The next section will look at some of the common physical disabilities that may qualify for such accommodations.

  • According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, more than one in four 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching retirement age.
  • According to the National Organization on Disability, approximately eight million Americans of all ages receive disability benefits each month.
  • In 2018, mental illness was the single largest category of approved disability applicants at 31%, followed by musculoskeletal diseases (23%), circulatory diseases (14%) and malignant neoplasms (10%).

List of Eligible Physical Disabilities

For those living with a disabling physical condition, disability benefits can provide the financial support required to make ends meet. Of course, not every medical condition is eligible for these social security disability benefits. While many impairments may qualify for disability benefits, it is important to make sure that yours meets the requirements set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Eligible physical disabilities include, but are not limited to:

-Loss of speech

-Deafness or hearing loss

-Vision loss or blindness

-Chronic fatigue caused by persistent conditions such as HIV/AIDS, lupus, and fibromyalgia.

-All forms of muscular dystrophy

-Any type of seizure disorder

-Cystic fibrosis or other lung disorders

-Diabetes requiring insulin use

-Cardiovascular diseases

-Spinal cord injuries and arthritis which significantly impact mobility or range of motion

-Cancer and related treatment side effects which prevent individuals from working.

It can be difficult to get approved for disability benefits as the qualifications are strict. As such, there will be cases where previous denials of disability claim applications may be overlooked upon further review. Alternatively, denials can also occur because an individual is lacking proof of their disabling condition. To receive what they are entitled to, applicants should consider obtaining proper medical documentation and creating a more detailed filing that supports their claim in order to have their case favorably reviewed.

Leading into the next section, mental disabilities can also qualify one for disability benefits under certain criteria. With this in mind, let’s look at what types of mental disabilities are eligible for social security disability benefits.

List of Eligible Mental Disabilities

Mental health conditions can be debilitating for those affected and may qualify for disability benefits. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a qualified mental disorder must be severe enough to interfere with an adult’s ability to perform basic work-related activities, such as the need for instruction, supervision, following safety rules and responding appropriately to coworkers and customers.

Common mental health disorders that qualify for disability benefits in adults include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorder. Disorders arising from environmental exposure, traumatic brain injury, and substance abuse may also be eligible for disability benefits.

The question of how to define severity within mental disorders is often a difficult one. Medical professionals generally diagnose mental illness based on commentaries made by the patient in describing symptoms of pain or discomfort. What may appear to be mild depression to one person may be severe depression to another. Factors such as frequency and intensity of symptoms, current physical condition of the person, support group networks and other pertinent data may all come into play regarding a person’s disability status.

When seeking disability benefits due to mental impairments, it is important that the applicant provide documentation of their symptoms over a long period of time. This documentation needs to demonstrate both the severity and duration of their condition as well as its functional impact on everyday life activities. Documentation requirements can vary depending on each individual situation, with some cases requiring more extensive supporting evidence than others. The next section will further explore what documents are necessary for filing a successful claim for disability benefits due to a mental or emotional disorder.

Documentation Requirements

The documentation needed for a successful disability claim varies among applicants, but there are some common elements that apply to most cases. Firstly, applicants will need to provide official medical records indicating the diagnosis and severity of their condition. These medical records should include detailed information about the condition and how it affects a person’s life outside of work.

In addition to the medical records, claimants may have to present other evidence such as employment records that demonstrate their past occupation, salary history, and any previous attempts to return to work. For example, if someone applying for disability attempted – and failed – to return to work after sustaining their disabling injury or illness, they must be able to prove this with taxes or pay stubs.

The level of proof required also depends on certain factors such as age and education level. For instance, an individual aged 55 or older may not have to produce as much evidence as someone aged 35 or younger due to mitigating circumstances caused by age. Similarly, applicants who do not possess a high school diploma may not be expected to go through the same laborious job search process compared to those who do possess one.

Finally, since disability laws in some countries are at odds with each other, filing a successful claim requires evidence from multiple sources that proves eligibility under local law. While alternative forms of proof can be valid in certain circumstances – such as letters of reference from former employers – claimants must ensure they meet all relevant criteria before submitting their application.

To sum up, although the amount and type of documentation required can vary vastly depending on the unique circumstances of each claimant, there are some core pieces of evidence that must be provided in order for an application for disability benefits to be successful.

The next section looks at the specific types of medical evidence that is typically required when applying for disability benefits.

Medical Evidence Required

Medical evidence is a crucial component in determining if a person’s medical condition will qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration requires people applying for benefits to submit proof from their medical providers that describes the severity of their condition and its impact on daily life activities. It is important to understand what evidence you need when filing for disability so your application can be processed quickly and correctly.

There are two types of medical evidence key to making a successful application: clinical evidence and prognostic evidence. Clinical evidence includes, but is not limited to, laboratory tests; radiology results; physical exam records; diagnosis evaluations; hospitalization reports; prescription medications used; and any treatments prescribed by a doctor. Clinical evidence may also include psychological evaluations, physical or occupational therapy notes, and any other information pertaining to an individual’s medical history. Prognostic evidence generally refers to expected outcomes or long-term impacts associated with an individual’s medical condition. This type of information usually comes from an individual’s treating physician or specialist and can provide greater insight into the severity of their impairment.

While medical evidence is necessary for filing a successful disability claim, it is not always necessary for every case. Some applicants may be able to present sufficient medical proof without having any clinical or prognostic evidence available at the time of application. However, it is important to note that this decision should ultimately be made with the input of a qualified disability attorney who can review all of the relevant details about your conditions before making an informed assessment on the best course of action.

Medical evidence is essential in demonstrating how disabling a person’s condition is and how it impacts their ability to work. Without such evidence, a person’s claim could be denied due to insufficient proof provided by the applicant. To ensure your application contains accurate and credible information, be sure to gather as much pertinent information as possible before submitting your application and consult with an experienced disability attorney regarding appropriate next steps.

Next this article will discuss in detail how to file a disability claim with the Social Security Administration’s SSA-1696 form.

How to File a Disability Claim

Filing a disability claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a complex process with many steps, but it is not an impossible task. Before starting an application, applicants need to collect all the personal information and medical records necessary to support their claims.

The first step in filing a disability claim is completing SSA’s “Adult Disability Report” (SSA-3368-BK). This form gathers basic background information about employment history, prior medical treatment, contact details, etc. It also asks for information about recent hospital stays, treatments and medications to help assess the extent of the claimed disability.

Next, applicants must submit evidence that supports their disability claims. The SSA requires three or more types of evidence including written statements from sources such as doctors, therapists and counselors. Additional evidence can include educational records showing a learning disability or exam results showing an injury or illness; lab tests indicating mental health issues; and x-rays or other imaging tests manifesting physical ailments. It’s important to note that the SSA generally won’t accept evidence older than six months unless there is documentation of ongoing care related to the injury or illness.

In some circumstances, the SSA will contact an applicant’s employer or doctors for additional evidence regarding the condition. After being notified of this request, applicants should make sure their employers and doctors receive all the materials necessary to document their case in detail throughout this process.

Claimants may be required to attend a scheduled medical evaluation by physicians working for the SSA —an option that those worried about COVID-19 safety protocols during 2020 should take into consideration. Ultimately, whether claimants receive benefits depends on how thoroughly they document their disabilities on paper and in person when interacting with SSA personnel during their review processes.

Aside from submitting information about your medical condition for review, there are a few other important factors to consider before filing a disability claim. That is discussed further in our next section: “Other Things to Consider When Applying”.

Other Things to Consider When Applying

When applying for disability benefits, there are a few other things to consider in order to ensure you receive the best possible outcome. It is important to understand that the severity of each person’s medical condition can vary, so the experience and outcome of applying will differ from person to person. Additionally, certain disabilities may be harder to prove than others due to the lack of objective evidence or tests. Furthermore, not all disabilities are permanent; they may be temporary depending on the individual’s state of health and disability.

When preparing your application, make sure to write a clear description of your medical condition and provide detailed dates with any applicable doctor visits or treatments. Also include pertinent details such as how the medical condition affects your ability to work and perform daily activities. When providing evidence, be sure to authenticate this with family members, friends, co-workers, former employers, teachers, and other medical experts who have knowledge about your medical condition. Additionally, provide documentation from your physician detailing the diagnosis about your medical condition and its effects on your ability to function. A letter from an attorney could be beneficial in elucidating why you will likely have future limitations in performing activities because of the disability.

It is important to talk with a social security representative when it comes time to apply so that they can help explain specific requirements if needed. Keep a detailed record of all conversations and documents provided so it is easier to provide information during the appeals process if needed. Depending on their decision process timeline, it could take anywhere between two months or more than two years before an answer is provided which could present financial difficulties due to no income during this period in time.

Debating both sides of the argument when applying for disability benefits may not always be necessary depending on how easy it is to prove an individual’s disability. However, taking extra care in writing out a detailed description coupled with finding sufficient evidence has the potential to increase one’s chances of being awarded benefits. Keeping detailed records will also help if there are complications during the appeals process in the future.

In conclusion, there are many things that need to be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not an individual qualifies for disability benefits including proving that their disability is medically diagnosed and affects their ability to function as well as gathering sufficient evidence about their illness before submitting an application. The next section will discuss what should come next after seeking advice from a professional such as lawyers or social security representatives.


Receiving Disability Benefit can be a difficult process, but it is possible for those who meet certain criteria. Ultimately, an individual must be determined disabled by the Social Security Administration in order to qualify for disability benefits. A disability is any medical condition that prevents or significantly impairs one’s ability to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). To determine if a person is disabled, the SSA applies a five-step evaluation process which looks at a claimant’s work history, age and educational background, current medical condition and its impact on their ability to work, as well as any other impairments that may affect their ability to perform certain tasks.

The Social Security Administration considers a wide range of physical and mental impairments when making decisions regarding eligibility for Disability Benefits. However, individuals should be aware that not all conditions are automatically approved for benefits; many require additional documentation and may only be eligible for Supplemental Security Income rather than Social Security Disability Insurance. Ultimately, it is up to the claimant to provide sufficient evidence of their disability so that they can be approved for Disability Benefits. While there is no guaranteed outcome, understanding how the system works can increase one’s chances at receiving an approval.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What other factors must be considered when applying for disability?

When applying for disability benefits, it is important to consider a variety of factors. The most important factor is the type and severity of the medical condition. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a “listing of impairments” to determine if an individual meets the required qualifications. Additionally, the SSA will assess how the medical condition affects an individual’s ability to perform basic work-related activities such as walking, sitting, standing, lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling objects, and remembering information.

Other important factors that may be considered include age, educational level, work history and experience, residual functional capacity evaluation to determine what tasks can still be performed despite any impairment, and the availability and suitability of other jobs based on these predetermined criteria. Ultimately, each case is carefully reviewed by the SSA to make sure they are thoroughly researching all available options.

Unique questions that start with “I would ask”:

I would ask: Is there a threshold for how long I have to have been disabled in order to qualify for benefits?

The answer is yes – you usually need to have been disabled for at least a year before you can apply and receive any disability benefits. Additionally, you may need to prove that your condition has lasted, or can be expected to last, at least 12 months before receiving benefits. It’s also important to note that some conditions may not qualify unless their symptoms are severe enough to significantly reduce a person’s ability to work.

What medical conditions qualify for disability?

Medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits typically involve impairments that have persisted for at least a year and are so severe that they prevent the individual from engaging in “substantial gainful activity”. Examples of such medical conditions include chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, stroke, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy and intellectual disabilities. There are also mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia that may qualify an individual for disability benefits. In addition to these serious medical conditions, certain injuries from accidents or other traumatic experiences may also be considered disabling and potentially qualify an individual for disability benefits. It is important to note that in order to receive compensation through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the condition must meet the requirements of the Social Security Administration’s own definition of disability and be documented with supporting medical evidence.

What criteria do medical conditions have to meet in order to qualify for disability status?

In order to qualify for disability status, medical conditions must be expected to last at least a year or result in death, and they must be so severe that they keep someone from working or performing basic day-to-day activities. Generally, medical conditions need to significantly limit one’s ability to walk, think, speak and complete basic functions like getting dressed or remembering things.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates applications based on how the person’s diagnosed condition affects their daily activity. Depending on the condition, some people may still be able to work and receive benefits if their work does not exceed certain limitations. The SSA takes into consideration an individual’s age, education and past work experience when evaluating an application for disability benefits.

The specific criteria for a medical condition varies depending on each individual and the condition but some of the most common medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits include cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic depression, multiple sclerosis, blindness, heart or lung disease, arthritis, stroke and other neurological problems, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and more.

How does the process of getting approved for disability status work?

The process of getting approved for disability status is dependent on a variety of factors, which are determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The applicant must provide detailed medical records to the SSA in order to prove they have a qualifying medical condition. This includes information such as diagnosis, treatments, and long-term prognosis. The SSA will then assess your application against what they deem to be “disability criteria.” You must pass certain tests and meet certain criteria in order to qualify.

After you apply, the SSA will review the information you provided and determine if you meet the criteria for “disability” and whether you are eligible for benefits. Generally, the consideration process takes anywhere from three to five months, and can take longer if additional medical evidence needs to be collected or reviewed. Once approved, you will receive monthly disability payments from the SSA based on your particular condition and length of disability.

It is important to note that only certain medical conditions qualify under Social Security’s definitions, so it is critical that applicants appropriately identify them in their applications. Additionally, applicants must keep all of their medical records up-to-date in order to get approved quickly and effectively.

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