There are more than 13 million people who receive some form of disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) each month. Moreover, the medical conditions that qualified these beneficiaries range from congenital disorders and chronic conditions to traumatic injuries and acute illnesses.
A disability advocate or attorney can help you understand whether your medical condition is likely to be approved quickly or if you will have a longer, more complicated time achieving a disability approval from the SSA.
Commonly Approved Disabilities
The SSA maintains standard disability listings for dozens of medical conditions and these listings are available for you and your doctor to review in the Blue Book. While most people who qualify for benefits are approved under one of these listings, the SSA may approve an applicant even if he or she has an impairment for which there is no disability listing.
Cancer and Related Disorders
Cancer, cancer treatments, and cancer-related disorders and complications are among the most common disabilities for which people apply to the SSA. These diseases include conditions that affect children and adults. Pediatric cancers appear in Section 113.00 and adult listings are found in Section 13.00.
Heart, Artery, and Blood Vessel Conditions
Heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes can cause severe and permanent impairments and they are among the most frequent cardiovascular conditions for which people file for disability. There are however more than a dozen other conditions that are covered in the cardiovascular section of the Blue Book, and even if an applicant is unable to meet one of these exactly, he or she may still qualify by closely matching one.
Arthritis, Spinal Disorders, and Other Musculoskeletal Conditions
Back pain and hip, knee, and other joint conditions are among the most common causes of work absences. It should come as no surprise then that they are also among the most common reasons for filing for disability. Musculoskeletal conditions the SSA approves for disability are severe and include traumatic injuries as well as degenerative disorders that worsen over time.
Although common ailments get approved in greater numbers, just by virtue of how many applicants have them, rare or less common medical conditions may qualify for benefits as well. Any severe impairment that prevents gainful employment and is expected to last at least a year meets the basic eligibility standards. Every claim for benefits must be backed up by appropriate medical evidence though.
Backing up a Disability Claim
In addition to disability listings, the Blue Book outlines the specific documentation necessary for supporting a claim for benefits. These details sometimes appear under the disability listing itself, but they are often described in the introductory paragraphs of each major section of the Blue Book too. For example, within the cardiovascular section, you and your doctor will find details of the heart scans, imagining results, lab work, and other records the SSA typically requires when reviewing any heart-related disability application.
Getting Help with a Disability Claim From an Attorney
Knowing how strong of a disability claim you have based on your current medical condition and the body of your medical evidence can be hard to do on your own. Your doctor can help you understand disability listings and other information that appears in the Blue Book. A disability advocate or attorney can evaluate the strength of your claim and advise you on what to expect during the disability application and review processes.
When you are ready to apply for benefits, you can complete an SSDI application online or at the local office. If you’re applying for SSI instead of or in addition to SSDI, a local office visit is necessary, since a personal interview with an SSA representative is required.