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

Submitted by Deanna on Thu, 12/16/2021 - 12:51

10 of the most common conditions that qualify for 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 qualify for disability. 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 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 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 your condition is mentioned on Social Security's Listing of Impairments, the first step is to have your doctor diagnose the disease.

Only a few illnesses, 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 conditions is to see if your medical condition satisfies the precise requirements for that ailment.

If you haven't had the clinical or laboratory tests listed, 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.

What Conditions Automatically Qualify You for Disability?

With the Social Security Administration (SSA) denying a majority of disability claims, is there another way besides filing an appeal to receive financial assistance? The answer is yes, and it comes in the form of the Compassionate Allowance program.

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 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 disability benefits. 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 disability 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 is the Most Approved Disability?

What is the most approved disability? The answer is not just one medical condition, but several medical conditions that get fast-tracked as a debilitating disability.

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 disability benefits.


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.

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.


Most cancers at Stage III and beyond typically qualify a disability applicant for fast-track approval for benefits 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 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.

How to Qualify

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.

Next Steps

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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