What Common Health Problems Occur For People Over 50?

Submitted by Elizabeth on

Here are some common details about health problems which affect people over the age of 50 and how they may qualify for disability benefits. The main requirement for disability benefits is that the health problem prevents the victim for working for at least 12 months.

Heart Disease

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a cardiovascular medical condition as any disorder that affects the functioning of the heart or the circulatory system.

There are several forms of heart disease that may qualify for disability benefits which are:

  • symptomatic congenital heart disease,
  • peripheral arterial disease,
  • ischemic heart disease,
  • heart failure,
  • chronic venous insufficiency.
  • chronic heart failure,
  • cardiomyopathy,
  • atrial fibrillation,
  • arrhythmias.

Information about the cardiovascular system can be found in section 4.00 of the SSA’s Blue Book, which provides the details of what is required to qualify for disability benefits.


This is type of arthritis in which the flexible tissue located at the ends of bones wears down and gets worse over time. It causes joint pain in the hands, neck, lower back, knees or hips. Medication, physiotherapy and occasionally surgery may help to reduce pain and maintain joint movement. Treatment may help but there is no known cure.
Osteoarthritis can be found in section 1.04 of the Blue Book which is “Disorders of the Spine”. In this section it mentions what medical evidence is required to support a disability benefits claim.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease that brings about obstructed airflow from the lungs. This disease is both chronic and inflammatory. People with COPD have an increased risk of developing heart disease and lung cancer. COPD is listed in the chronic respiratory disorder section of the Blue Book, 3.02. This is where the requirements for eligibility for disability benefits with COPD are explained.


Cancer is a disease caused by abnormal cells dividing uncontrollably and destroying body tissue. Not all cancer is life threatening and many types can be treated successfully. Being approved for disability benefits is for some kinds of aggressive cancer such as, liver, thyroid, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers as well as mesothelioma. These types can be found in section 113 in the Blue Book where the details are described which enables the victim to qualify for disability benefits.

Vision Loss

You may be eligible to receive disability benefits if you’re blind. Visual disorders are abnormalities of the eye, the optic tracts, the optic nerve, or the brain that might cause a loss of visual acuity. A loss of visual acuity limits the victim’s ability to be able to distinguish detail, read, or to be able to do fine work. In the SSA’s eyes, someone is considered to be blind if their vision is unable to be corrected to better than 20/200 in their better eye. If your visual field is 20 degrees or less in your better eye for a period that is expected to last for at least 12 months, you are also considered to be blind. The evidence required to support a claim for disability benefits with vision loss is found in Special Senses and Speech in section 2.01in the Blue Book.

Hearing Loss

A victim of severe hearing loss may qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration assesses hearing loss based on whether there are any jobs the victim can do with limited hearing. The SSA’s Blue Book lists the requirements for disability benefits with hearing loss in section 2.10. Disability benefits may be available for victims who have been diagnosed with profound hearing loss or deafness, but not for moderate or mild hearing loss. You may qualify for disability benefits based on the results of one of the following two tests:

  • An audiometry test needs to determine that your average hearing threshold sensitivity for air conduction is 90 decibels or less and you have a bone conduction hearing threshold of 60 decibels or less in your good ear.
  • A word recognition test qualifies you automatically for benefits if you are able to repeat 40 percent or less of a standardized words list.

Get Help With Your Claim

If you have a common health problem and you are over 50 and it is preventing you from earning a living, it’s easy to get the help you need to file a claim for disability benefits by requesting a Free Case Evaluation today to get connected and speak with a disability attorney—at zero cost to you. A disability lawyer may be able to help you file a claim for disability benefits by assisting you to gather the requested medical evidence that proves you are unable to work for the next 12 months.

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