Types of Injuries and Conditions that Qualify for Social Security Disability
If you suffer from a disabling injury or have a serious medical condition, you may be facing a difficult and stressful time. In addition to dealing with physical and emotional pain, you may also be challenged by mounting medical bills and the loss of wages.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) through the Social Security Disability (SSD) program can provide monthly income and medical benefits to people that suffer with disabling medical conditions. There are two programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that provide monthly income and medical benefits. Both SSDI and SSI’s disability eligibility criteria require that you have a serious medical condition that will last at least 12 months or is life-threatening and prevents you from earning a regular income. SSDI and SSI eligibility criteria differ in the amount of past work history needed.
At Baker & Baker, our experienced Social Security disability attorneys understand the SSA’s listing of injuries and medical conditions that qualify for SSD benefits is confusing and complex. Our law firm can help you navigate this confusing disability system and assist you with submitting a comprehensive initial application for benefits that addresses the SSDI and/or SSI eligibility criteria. We will also assist with a comprehensive appeal if your claim was wrongfully denied. The sooner you contact us, the faster we can work toward getting you the benefits you deserve.
There were roughly 760,000 awards for SSD benefits to disabled people by the SSA in 2019. Of those, more than one-third (37.7%) suffer from a condition of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue. Some of the more common medical conditions that can qualify for SSDI and/or SSI benefits are:
- Back pain (degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, spinal disorders, or ruptured disc) – These conditions can impact a person’s ability to walk, sit, and carry out normal work duties. They can also impact bodily functions, and the accompanying pain can be severe.
- Connective tissue disorders (arthritis) – People with rheumatoid arthritis and other connective tissue disorders can experience significant limitations that will qualify them for disability benefits.
- Fibromyalgia – This is a severe, and often chronic, disorder characterized by widespread pain in the muscles, tendons, and joints.
The second most common type of disorder to receive approval for SSD benefits are different types of mental disorders. In 2019, 13.3% of awards went to applicants struggling with mental conditions such as:
- Psychotic disorders (schizophrenia) – A person with a psychotic disorder that is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized thinking may qualify for SSD benefits.
- Mood disorders (depression, anxiety, panic attacks) – To qualify for SSD, the mood disorder must be severe and long-lasting enough that it creates a barrier to gainful employment.
- Autism or Asperger’s syndrome – People with Autism spectrum disorders can qualify for SSD if they can medically document significant deficits in concentration, self-managing, and the ability to communicate.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – A person with this type of anxiety disorder could qualify for benefit if they can thoroughly document the ways this condition limits their activities.
Cardiac and Circulatory Disorders
Roughly 10% of all applicants that are awarded benefits suffer from various circulatory disorders. These are issues involving blood flow to the heart and the remainder of the body. Examples include:
- Coronary artery disease – Coronary artery disease involves the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries that causes them to narrow. It is the most common cause of reduced oxygen supply and blood to the heart, which can lead to a person’s reduced ability to function.
- High blood pressure (hypertension) – If high blood pressure is not treated and managed properly, it can lead to other serious issues such as heart disease and stroke. A person with high blood pressure that is applying for SSD must meet a long list of criteria for approval.
- Angina – Angina, or chest pain, is one of the most common cardiac disorders. Having this alone isn’t enough to qualify for SSD, but it can be combined with other cardiac and circulatory disorders to help an applicant qualify.
- Congenital heart defects – A person who must undergo surgery for a congenital heart defect may qualify for SSD if their condition will last for at least 12 months.
Other common types of conditions that qualify for SSD benefits are various neurological and sensory disorders. Some examples include:
- Parkinson’s Disease – If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and are unable to work due to physical or other functional limitations, you may qualify for SSD benefits.
- Sciatica – The compression of the sciatic nerve can be incredibly painful and debilitating. The SSA will weigh your limitations in light of your diagnosis and treatment history.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – CFS is also referred to as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), and it is a complex multi-system disorder that results in prolonged fatigue. You may qualify for SSD benefits if you can fully document your limitations.
- Blindness – The SSA has special disability rules that apply to people with limited vision and blindness. If you meet certain criteria, you can receive benefits.
Neoplasms are tumors caused by cancerous or non-cancerous disorders. People with certain types of cancer, such as lung cancer or mesothelioma, are often able to prove disability according to the SSA’s criteria.
This list is just a sampling of the conditions that will qualify for SSD benefits. Several other conditions commonly qualify. Some examples are genitourinary system disorders (such as kidney disease), autoimmune disorders (such as lupus), respiratory system disorders (such as COPD and emphysema), and digestive system disorders (such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease).
Contact an Experienced Florida Social Security Disability Benefits Law Firm
The SSA has created a medical list of impairments that automatically medically qualify for SSD benefits if proven through specific medical tests, labs, radiology results, and clinical findings. These medical conditions are listed in what is called the “Blue Book,” which describes the medical evidence list i.e. medical tests, labs, radiology results and clinical findings to meet the SSA medical listing criteria for automatic approval.
The Blue Book or Listing of Impairments is a good tool to understand how SSA medically evaluates your medical conditions and what diagnostic and/or clinical medical testing SSA considers important in proving up your medical condition and severity of limitations. It is not unusual that your treating doctor can diagnose and treat your medical conditions without ordering the diagnostic labs, radiology etc. that SSA requires to medically prove up your medical condition and severity. In this instance you may have to ask your doctor to order specific medical testing in order to provide the results to SSA.
Though the Blue Book Listing of Impairments is a very useful tool to use in understanding and planning the type of medical evidence needed to prove up your medical condition, most claims will not meet the Listing of Impairments. Fortunately, meeting the medical listings is not the only avenue you can medically prove up your medical conditions and limitations.
At Baker & Baker, our experienced Florida SSD attorneys will put their knowledge, skill, and resources to work for you in seeking these valuable benefits. Specifically, we will help you gather the evidence necessary to prove your claim or will fight to protect your interests during the appeals process.