What Are The Top 10 Conditions That Qualify For Disability Benefits?

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10 of the most common conditions that qualify for Social Security disability are Arthritis, Heart Disease, Degenerative Disc Disease, Respiratory Illness, Mental Illness, Cancer, Stroke, Nervous System Disorders, Diabetes, Immune System Disorders.

There are thousands of conditions that may be approved for disability benefits. The SSA offers monthly resources to anyone in need who is unable to work due to their illness. That being said, some conditions qualify more often than others.

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If you have any of the above disorders, there is a good chance of your disability claim being approved. Be sure to get help by taking a Free Case Evaluation to see if you qualify for disability benefits today. So what conditions qualify for disability?

What Are The Top 10 Conditions That Qualify for Disability?

1. Arthritis

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal disabilities are the most commonly approved conditions for disability benefits. If you are unable to walk due to arthritis, or unable to perform dexterous movements like typing or writing, you will qualify.

2. Heart Disease

Heart disease is one of the most deadly conditions in the US, killing tens of thousands per year. There are many types of heart disease that can qualify, such as a congenital heart defect or congestive heart failure.

What Are The Top 10 Conditions That Qualify For Disability?

3. Degenerative Disc Disease

Another musculoskeletal disorder, DDD typically affects adults age 60+ and can be so disabling, you may not be able to walk. Someone can also qualify with DDD if they can prove that they cannot sit in one position for more than two hours due to pain.

4. Respiratory Illness

A surprisingly high number of people qualify for Social Security disability with respiratory illnesses. One of the most common conditions is COPD , which can be life-threatening.

5. Mental Illnesses

You may have not expected it, but almost 20% of people who receive Social Security disability benefits have a mental illness such as autism, or a mood disorder like depression or anxiety. The reason why so many people are approved with mood disorders in particular is because 1 of every 4 Americans has some type of mood-based disability. A mental illness does not guarantee you benefits, but is still in the top 10 conditions that qualify for Social Security disability.

6. Cancer

Nearly everyone’s life has been impacted by cancer in some form. Most cancers will qualify at stage III or beyond, but some types of particularly aggressive cancer, such as liver cancer, will qualify with just a diagnosis.

7. Stroke

A stroke is another common, yet deadly illness. Some people never fully recover after a stroke. If you’re unable to walk without assistance or communicate verbally or non-verbally, you will qualify for Social Security disability.

8. Nervous System Disorders

These include conditions such as epilepsy or cerebral palsy. If you have epilepsy for example, you may qualify if you have more than one tonic-clonic seizure per month, you may be eligible.

9. Diabetes

Diabetes alone is not a disabling condition, as millions are able to manage their diabetes. When diabetes does become a disabling condition, however, is when complications become so severe it affects your daily living. If you’re too obese to walk, you will qualify. If you have glaucoma that makes you legally blind, you will also qualify.

10. Immune System Disorders

Immune system disorders can include viruses like HIV, or autoimmune illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis. Depending on your ability to work, you may be eligible with this form of arthritis as well.

What Are The Top 10 Conditions That Qualify For Disability?

What Conditions Qualify For Disability?

If you have a medical condition that is severe enough that you will be out of work for at least 12 months you may be able to qualify for disability benefits.

The SSA has an entire list of conditions that qualify for Social Security disability, known as the Blue Book. The types of conditions that qualify for disability listed in the Blue Book include musculoskeletal disorder, special senses and speech, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular system disorders, digestive system, genitourinary disorders, hematological disorders, skin disorders, endocrine disorders, congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems, neurological disorders, mental disorders, cancer, and immune system disorders.

Only a few medical conditions may automatically qualify for Social Security disability, such as ALS, an organ transplant, or certain dangerous cancers, such as esophageal cancer, mucosal melanoma, anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid gland, or small-cell carcinoma, will result in automatic disability approval (of the prostate, ovaries, breast, lungs, pleura, intestines, or bladder). The next step for all other medical conditions for disability benefits approval is to see if your medical condition satisfies the precise requirements outlined for by the SSA for that condition.

If you haven't had the clinical or laboratory tests listed for your disabling condition, you can request them from your doctor. You can also wait for the SSA to pay for a consultation test, but this will prolong the processing of your claim.

It is preferable if the test results are already in your medical record when you apply. Then you may see if your test results fulfill the listing's requirements, and if they do or are close, you can apply for disability benefits.

To learn more about conditions that may qualify for Social Security disability, you should consult the SSA's Blue Book. The Blue Book will have all medical conditions that may be approved for disability benefits. You will need to make sure you conditions meets the disability requirements outlined.

What Conditions Automatically Qualify You for Disability?

The SSA maintains a list of conditions that automatically qualifies for disability. The SSA has a list of conditions that get processed and approved for disability faster called compassionate allowances.

There are over 200 conditions on the compassionate allowances that if your disability is on there, you will very likely get approved for expedited disability benefits. Some conditions that may automatically qualify for Social Security disability include:

  • Advanced Forms of Cancers
  • Chronic Heart Failure And Other Cardiovascular System Disorders
  • ALS
  • Parkinson’s
  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • Blindness and Other Visual disorders
  • Dementia

The Compassionate Allowance Program allows eligible participants to bypass the often long and frustrating disability claims process. SSA guidelines prioritize the most deserving applicants based on the severity of a disability.

The process is much faster than the regular Social Security disability benefits process. Compassionate Allowance quickly recognizes diseases and illnesses that qualify applicants for financial assistance.

Every applicant for Social Security disability benefits presents unique cases for financial assistance. However, several medical conditions based on the severity of a disability can get you approved for Social Security disability. Examples of Compassionate Allowance decisions based on a serious disability include liver disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injury. Mental health issues such as acute depression and bipolar disorder can help a Social Security disability benefits applicant to receive fast-track approval of a claim under the Compassionate Allowance program.

Typically, it takes the SSA between six and 12 months to issue a decision for a disability benefits claim. The process can exceed 12 months if an applicant decides to file an appeal on a denied claim with the help of a Social Security disability attorney. With the Compassionate Allowance program, qualified applicants can receive approval for financial assistance as quickly as within one month of applying for SSDI.

What Are the Most Approved Disabilities?

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions are some of the most approved disabilities for Social Security disability benefits. This is due to how common arthritis is, with over 50 million people suffering from arthritis.

Many of the most approved disabilities include:

  • Arthritis: Arthritis and other types of musculoskeletal disabilities rank near the top of the most commonly approved disabilities for the Compassionate Allowance program. This is because acute arthritis symptoms make it highly difficult, if not impossible for an applicant to continue working.
  • Heart Disease: Heart disease represents one of the most deadly medical conditions, which the SSA recognizes by making the disease a priority when reviewing claims. If you suffer from congenital heart failure or a defect, you should qualify to receive fast-track approval for Social Security disability.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: As with arthritis, the symptoms that are associated with degenerative disc disease prevent workers from completing physically demanding job tasks. Usually impacting adults 60 years or older, degenerative disc disease can be disabling enough to prevent workers from simply walking around an office or a job site.
  • Cancer: Most cancers at Stage III and beyond typically qualify a disability applicant for fast-track approval for Social Security disability via the Compassionate Allowance program. If you suffer from stage III cancer or higher, you should submit the results of diagnostic tests, as well as a written statement presented by your physician that describes the chances of you making a full or partial recovery.
  • Mental Illness: Nearly 20 percent of all disability benefits claims approved by the SSA involve some form of a serious mental illness. From autism to mood disorders, the SSA makes fast-tracking certain mental illness claims a priority. Suffering from a mental illness does not automatically qualify you for financial assistance because you must prove you suffer from the most serious symptoms associated with your illness.

Other types of disabilities that get fast-tracked for disability benefits include lung disease, liver disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage, and complete vision or hearing loss.

Signs That You May Be Approved for Disability

If you have one of the top ten conditions that qualify for disability, after you send in your disability application, there may be signs that you may be approved for disability.

While it is not certain, these signs should present your help back up your case that you can no longer work because of your disability.

The signs that you will be approved for disability include:

  • You Present Ample Amount of Medical Evidence

    The most common reason for a denied disability claim is lack of medical evidence. The more medical evidence you have to back up your claim that your disability makes it impossible for you to work, the more likely you are to be approved for disability.

  • You Are Able to Prove That You Are Unable To Work

    You cannot be approved for disability if you are out of work for less than 12 months. You need to show the SSA that your disability makes it impossible for you to work. You must provide evidence with your work record’s evidence that you did not work for the past 12 months, which include any monthly bank statements and paystubs from your employer.

  • You’ve Earned Enough Work Credits

    In order to be approved for Social Security disability, you need to have a certain amount of work credits. Your work credits are calculated by how old you are and how long you have worked.

    As of 2024, you need to earn $1,730 to earn 1 work credit. You can earn up to 4 work credits for each year that you were gainfully employed.

  • Your Condition Matches a Blue Book Listing

    If you can show that your disability matches one of the listings in the SSA’s Blue Book of disabling conditions that qualify for disability, then that is a sign that you may be approved for disability.

    Even if you don’t match a Blue Book listing, you can still qualify for disability via a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation.

  • You Make Less Than Substantial Gainful Activity

    The last sign to show that you may be approved for Social Security disability is that you are able to show the SSA that you are not able to participate in substantial gainful activity.

    That means being able to show that you are incapable of substantial gainful employment. For 2024, the monthly SGA amount for blind individuals is $2,590. For non-blind individuals, the monthly SGA amount for non-blind individuals is $1,550.

Social Security Disability Benefits Requirements

You may be eligible for financial assistance from the Social Security Administration if you are unable to work due to a debilitating condition. The SSA offers two programs to help those who are unable to work: Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Both of these schemes provide monthly disability benefits to eligible applicants.

Preparing and presenting appropriate medical proof from your physicians can substantially improve your chances of the Social Security Administration making a speedier decision on your claim. This medical evidence supports your claim and demonstrates to the Social Security Administration that you are disabled. You can use the Blue Book as guide to determine what medical evidence you need.

What Qualifies You For Disability?

What will qualify you for disability is that you will need to be unable to work for at least 12 months. You will need to provide medical evidence that your condition is keeping you from making a substantial gainful living. You can use the Blue Book to determine what medical evidence you need to support your claim.

You will also need enough work credits to qualify for disability benefits. These are earned by working and paying into Social Security taxes. Generally, if you have worked 5 of the last 10 years, you will likely have enough work credits to qualify for disability benefits.

Get Help Applying For Disability Benefits

Filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits with the SSA might help you pay for your expensive medical costs. However, it's critical to show the Social Security Administration (SSA) that your disease has permanently affected your lifestyle.

The procedure of applying for SSDI can be time-consuming. Due to a lack of adequate medical proof and records, initial claims are frequently rejected.

A Social Security disability lawyer may help you through the application process and ensure that your claim is well-supported. An attorney will know what documents to keep when you see different specialists to enhance your chances of a successful claim.

None of the above listed top 10 conditions “automatically” qualify for disability benefits, meaning that you might need help getting approved. To speak with someone who can help you with your Social Security disability claim, fill out our Free Disability Evaluation.

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