What Medical Conditions Qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Here’s what you need to know about whether your medical condition will qualify for disability and how to apply for benefits.
The Social Security Administration’s impairment listing manual (called the blue book) lists a number of impairments, both physical and mental, that will automatically qualify an individual for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), provided the individual’s condition meets the specified criteria for a listing.
What Medical Conditions Are Listed?
The listing manual, which has been updated for 2020, includes:
- musculoskeletal problems, such as back injuries
- cardiovascular conditions, such as heart failure or coronary artery disease
- senses and speech issues, such as vision and hearing loss
- respiratory illnesses, such as COPD or asthma
- neurological disorders, such as MS, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, or epilepsy
- mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, autism, or intellectual disorder
- immune system disorders, such as HIV/AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis
- various syndromes, such as Sjogren’s Syndrome and Marfan Syndrome
- skin disorders, such as dermatitis
- digestive tract problems, such as liver disease or IBD
- kidney disease and genitourinary problems
- cancer, and
- hematological disorders, such as hemolytic anemias and disorders of bone marrow failure
For articles on getting disability for many common conditions, some of which are in the blue book and some of which aren’t, see our section on Medical Conditions, Impairments, and Problems.
How Do You Get Disability for Listed Medical Conditions?
If your disability is listed in Social Security’s Listing of Impairments, the first step is to get a diagnosis of the condition from your doctor. A mere diagnosis will get you an automatic disability approval for only a few conditions, however, like ALS, an organ transplant, or certain serious cancers, such as esophageal cancer, mucosal melanoma, anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid gland, or small-cell carcinoma (of the prostate, ovaries, breast, lungs, pleura, intestines, or bladder). For all other conditions, the next step is to determine if your medical condition meets the specific criteria for that condition. The listing requirements are often quite complex; our illness-specific articles simplify the medical criteria in the listings so that you can understand whether your condition will qualify for disability.
If you haven’t had the clinical or laboratory tests required in the listing, you can ask your doctor to perform them. Or you can wait for the SSA to pay for a consultative exam, but this makes your claim take longer. It’s generally better if the test results are already in your medical record before you apply. Then you can check to see if your test results meet the requirements of the listing, and if they match the criteria or are close, you can apply for disability.
Does a Medical Condition Have to Match the Blue Book Listing?
An individual filing for Social Security disability benefits does not necessarily have to satisfy the exact listing requirements for a particular illness or condition to be awarded disability benefits based on the condition. You can be awarded disability benefits if Social Security considers aspects of your condition medically equivalent to the criteria in the listing or a related listing. This is called “equaling a disability listing.” (According to recent government statistics, 37% of all approved disability applications “met” a listing and only 6% “equaled” a listing.)
Alternatively, you can be eligible for disability benefits if you don’t meet or equal the criteria for the blue book listing, if your condition limits your functioning so much that you can’t work. The SSA will consider the effect of your condition on your capacity to perform routine daily activities and work and will then determine whether there is any kind of job you can safely be expected to do. For more information, see our section on how Social Security decides if your limitations make you disabled. (In a recent year, half of all approved disability applications were approved based on an assessment of applicants’ limitations.)
Does a Medical Condition Have to Be in the Blue Book?
A Social Security disability claimant doesn’t even have to have an impairment that is listed in the Social Security disability blue book to be awarded disability benefits. For instance, migraine headaches are not included in the blue book, but if a claimant’s migraines are severe enough and are well documented, the SSA may grant disability benefits if the migraines make it impossible for the disability applicant to work a full-time job. The keys here are that the condition be a medically determinable impairment and that it reduces someone’s RFC enough so that they can’t do their prior job or any job. In this case, an applicant could qualify for benefits under a medical-vocational allowance. Other common impairments that aren’t listed in Social Security’s blue book include carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic regional pain syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, celiac disease, and degenerative disc disease.
Which Medical Conditions Are Likely to Qualify for Disability?
While any of the above medical conditions are SSDI and SSI qualifying disabilities, some medical conditions are more likely to lead to an approval of benefits than others. We recently surveyed our readers about their experiences in applying for disability benefits and compared their answers to government statistics. For details, see our article on survey statistics on getting Social Security disability for common medical conditions.
How Do You Apply for Disability Benefits?
There are three ways to apply for Social Security benefits:
- file online at www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability (but note that online filing isn’t available to most SSI applicants)
- call the Social Security office at 800-772-1213 for an appointment to apply, or
- go to your local Social Security office without an appointment.
Before you apply, make sure you have the names and addresses of all doctors and clinics you’ve visited over the last five years. Applying for benefits involves much more than filling out the disability application. Your first step should be making sure that you have sufficient medical records for Social Security to make a decision on your claim. If you’ve been seeing a doctor regularly, have a conversation with your doctor about your limitations (such as not being able to lift 30 pounds or stand for three hours), and whether the doctor thinks they rule out full-time work for you. If your doctor agrees, it’s time to apply for disability benefits.
If you haven’t been seeing a doctor, it’s time to start. As mentioned above, you need to have medical records that support your claim, including your diagnoses, your limitations, your test results, and your treatment plans. Once you’ve had several doctors’ appointments, ask if your doctor thinks your limitations are disabling and about your long-term prospects for work. Only then should you apply for disability.
how long does a social security continuing disability review take
Moscow (/ˈmɒskoʊ/, /ˈmɒskaʊ/; Russian: Москва, tr. Moskva, IPA: [mɐˈskva] (listen)) is the capital and most populous city of Russia, standing on the Moskva River in the central part of Western Russia, Moscow’s population is estimated at 12.6 million residents within the city proper, with over 17 million residents in the urban area, and over 20 million residents in the Moscow Metropolitan Area. The city limits cover an area of 2,511 square kilometres (970 sq mi), while the metropolitan area covers over 26,000 square kilometres (10,000 sq mi), Moscow is among the world’s largest cities, being the most populous city entirely within Europe, the most populous urban area in Europe, the most populous metropolitan area in Europe, and also the largest city (by area) on the European continent.
Originally established in 1147 as a minor town, Moscow grew to become a prosperous and powerful city that served as the capital of the Grand Duchy that bears its namesake. When the Grand Duchy of Moscow evolved into the Tsardom of Russia, Moscow still remained as the political and economic center for most of the Tsardom’s history. When the Tsardom was reformed into the Russian Empire, the capital was moved from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, diminishing the influence of the city. The capital was then moved back to Moscow following the Russian Revolution and the city was brought back as the political centre of the Russian SFSR and the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union dissolved, Moscow remained as the capital city of the contemporary and newly-established Russian Federation.
As the northernmost and coldest megacity in the world, and with a history that dates over eight centuries, Moscow is governed as a federal city that serves as the political, economic, cultural, and scientific centre of Russia and Eastern Europe. As an alpha global city, Moscow has one of the world’s largest urban economies, and is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and is also one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. Moscow is home to the third-highest number of billionaires of any city in the world, and has the highest number of billionaires of any city in Europe. The Moscow International Business Center is one of largest financial centres of Europe and the world, and features some of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers. Moscow is also home to the tallest free-standing structure in Europe, the Ostankino Tower, and was one of the host cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
As the cultural centre of Russia, Moscow served as the home of Russian artists, scientists, and sports figures due to the presence of its numerous museums, academic and political institutions and theatres. The city is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is well known for its architecture and its display of Russian architecture, particularly its historic buildings such as the Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the Red Square, and the Moscow Kremlin, of which the latter serves as the seat of power of the Government of Russia. Moscow is home to many Russian companies in numerous industries, such as finance and technology. Moscow is served by a comprehensive transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, a tram system, a monorail system, and most notably the Moscow Metro, the busiest metro system in Europe, and one of the largest rapid transit systems in the world. With over 40 percent of its territory covered by greenery, it is one of the greenest cities in Europe and the world.
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