Did you know that some disabling conditions automatically qualify you for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA)? If you are no longer able to work due to a disability, you may be eligible as well. People across the US receive benefits every month to help pay for medical bills, household expenses, childcare, and more. Some conditions are so severely disabling, the SSA will approve applicants within a matter of days.
Why Do Some Conditions Automatically Qualify For Benefits?
The SSA receives millions of applications for disability every year. Some of these conditions are known to be life threatening, severely crippling, or to cause an extreme hardship for the applicant and their families. The SSA knows it’s likely for someone to be approved for disability without reviewing medical history given the diagnosis alone. If your condition qualifies, SSA will “automatically approve” your application, but review your claim over the course of the next six months to confirm your eligibility retroactively. The goal is to expedite the process for those who need it most.
According to data released by the SSA annually, nearly 70% of all applicants are initially denied benefits. Once a Conditions that automatically qualify you for disability include:
- Arthritis & other severe musculoskeletal diseases
- Breast Cancer - Stage III+
- Early-onset Alzheimer's disease
- Lung Cancer - Stage III+
- Organ Transplant
- Prostate Cancer - Stage IV
- Vision Loss
This is not an exhaustive list–there are hundreds of conditions that the SSA considers severe enough to warrant automatic disability approval. The SSA uses its own internal medical guide and manual, known colloquially as the “Blue Book,” to evaluate your medical information and test results and determine eligibility. The Blue Book lists hundreds of conditions that automatically qualify for disability, and how severe your condition must be to be approved for monthly benefits.
For example, breast cancer qualifies for disability benefits if an applicant has Stage III cancer or more advanced. The Social Security Administration would argue that an applicant with Stage 0 breast cancer may be able to work. Early-stage breast cancer does not automatically qualify for disability benefits.
What Is the Most Approved Disability?
Arthritis. While there are dozens of conditions that qualify for disability benefits automatically, arthritis is one of the most approved disabilities nationwide. More than 30% of people who are on Social Security disability benefits have arthritis or another musculoskeletal disorder. The Blue Book contains an entire section dedicated to these conditions. Additional musculoskeletal disorders that may automatically qualify include:
- Nerve-root damage
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Reconstructive surgery on limbs lasting 12+ months
- Non-healing fractures of the hip, femur, or weight-bearing joints
Some signs you’ll be automatically approved for disability with arthritis or another spinal or skeletal issue is if you’re unable to walk without the use of two crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair. The SSA prioritizes helping people who aren’t mobile.
How Can I increase My Chances Of Getting Disability
Even if you have a condition that should automatically qualify for benefits, you can still get denied initially. The best ways to increase your chances of getting disability benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Filing your claim as soon as possible
- Providing all dates and locations of medical treatment
- Providing proof of RECENT medical treatment
- Providing test results matching Blue Book listings
- Providing as much medical evidence as possible
- Listing all past work experience
- Speaking with a disability attorney or advocate
- Proving your disability affects your ability to work
By continuing to follow up with your doctor and to take any prescribed medication will ensure the SSA will have any medical information needed to approve the claim. If at any point your condition worsens, you will be able to submit updated medical information to help push your claim towards approval. Even if automatically approved for benefits, the SSA will still eventually need to confirm the condition via medical paperwork.
Many Social Security applicants also choose to work with a disability attorney, who can help review initial paperwork or an application and facilitate the process of getting the SSA enough information to automatically enroll you into Social Security disability benefits.
11 Signs You May Be Approved For Disability:
- Your conditions meets a Blue Book medical listing
- You’re no longer working
- Your disability prevents you for working for 12+ months
- You meet all financial requirements
- You’ve worked throughout life OR
- You have little-to-no income
- You’ve hired a disability attorney or advocate
- You’ve consistently seen your doctor(s)
- You have lots of medical evidence
- Your disability has not improved despite treatments
- You’ve followed/tried all treatments
There is no sure-fire way to know if your condition will automatically qualify you for disability, but by taking the time to carefully submit your application, listing all medical records and test results, and speaking with legal help are all ways that can help improve your chances of approval.