What Is a Qualifying Disability?

What Disabilities Qualify An Applicant for Social Security Disability Benefits?

If you are disabled, your doctor may have told you that you are unable to work due to your disability. To receive Social Security disability benefits, however, your physical or mental disability must meet the requirements of the Social Security Administration. The list of these disabilities is quite long and can be difficult to interpret. On this web page, we list some of the types of common disabilities that qualify for benefits. For a complete list, you can read the current listings of Adult Impairments and Child Impairments.

  • Musculoskeletal Disabilities – Any severe illness of the muscles or bones may lead to a qualifying disability. These can be hereditary or acquired through an illness or accident. If such a disability severely limits your ability to perform substantial work and will not improve with treatment and time, it may qualify.
  • Senses and Speech Disabilities – Blindness, deafness, untreatable vertigo, and other sense disorders may qualify if they severely limit your ability to perform substantial work.
  • Respiratory Disabilities – If you cannot breathe properly due to injury or illness, and your breathing disorder cannot be treated to allow you to perform substantial work, you may qualify. Severe asthma, COPD, pulmonary hypertension, chronic heart failure, cystic fibrosis, cancer, and other illnesses can lead to respiratory disabilities that are severe enough to be a qualifying disability.
  • Cardiovascular Disabilities – Disorders of the heart and circulatory system, whether congenital or acquired through disease, can cause disabilities that prevent you from performing substantial work. If you have such a disorder and tests show that it prevents work activities and cannot be adequately treated, you may have a qualifying disability.
  • Digestive System Disabilities – Some disorders of the digestive tract can create disabilities that qualify for benefits. This category also includes liver and other organ disorders involved with digestion. As with other disabilities, the problem must severely impact your ability to work.
  • Genitourinary Disabilities – Severe kidney disease is a common cause of qualifying disabilities. There are many causes for kidney diseases. If your illness prevents you from doing substantial work, it may qualify as a disability eligible for benefits.
  • Hematological Disabilities – Diseases involving the blood, bone marrow, and other systems can produce disability. When these lead to severe impairment of the ability to work, they qualify as disabilities eligible for benefits.
  • Skin Disorder Disabilities – Severe skin disorders can lead to an inability to perform substantial work. Ranging from Ichthyosis and chronic infections to burns and genetic disorders, among others, if the disorder is so severe that you cannot work, you may be eligible for benefits.
  • Endocrine Disabilities – Several glandular systems in your body can cause disabling disorders. Thyroid disorders, adrenal gland disorders, and diabetes are common examples. After evaluation and attempted treatment, any of these can lead to a qualifying disability.
  • Neurological Disabilities – The brain and nervous system is the source of numerous movement and other disabilities. From brain tumors and epilepsy to multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis, neurological disorders may be either mild or severely disabling. If such disorders prevent you from doing substantial work and treatments do not provide relief, they will qualify you for benefits.
  • Mental Disabilities – Mental illness is more common than many people realize. While some mental disorders can be effectively treated with medications or other treatments, a mental illness that does not respond adequately to treatment can be so disabling that it prevents a person from working, thus qualifying that person for disability benefits.
  • Cancer Disabilities – Cancer can cause serious disabilities that qualify for disability benefits. Each case is different, and many factors are taken into consideration when determining the level of disability.
  • Immune System Disabilities – Diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, and other immune system disorders can cause disabilities. As with all disabilities, the disorder must severely limit your ability to earn substantial income, even with treatment, to qualify for disability benefits.

Does Your Disability Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

Part of the process of determining your eligibility for disability benefits is an extensive examination of your medical history and current condition. During the process, you may be asked to undergo additional medical tests. If these tests are ordered by the Social Security Administration, they will be paid for by the SSA, not by you. If your application is denied, your legal representative may also want you to be examined by other medical professionals. It is a complex process and can be time-consuming.

Greeman Toomey PLLC – Advocating for Your Disability Benefits

What is and is not a disability under Social Security disability rules is not easily defined, as many factors need to be considered. Many initial applications for benefits are denied, and the perceived severity of the disability is often the reason for denial. At Greeman Toomey PLLC, we understand the rules of determining whether an impairment qualifies for disability benefits. We have many years of experience in interpreting these rules and advocating for our clients. If your initial application for benefits is denied, contact us immediately. We will arrange a free initial consultation with you. If we believe your case has merit and you retain us, we will work tirelessly and zealously to get the benefits you deserve.