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 to get a loan on social security disability
Stuttgart (/ˈʃtʊtɡɑːrt/ SHTUUT-gart, also US: /ˈstʌt-, ˈstʊt-, ˈstuːtˌ-, ˈʃtuːt-/ STU(U)T-, STOOT-, SHTOOT-; German: [ˈʃtʊtɡaʁt] (listen); Swabian: Schduagert [ˈʒ̊d̥ua̯ɡ̊ɛʕd̥]; names in other languages) is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known locally as the “Stuttgart Cauldron”. It lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Its area has a population of 634,830, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.8 million people live in the city’s administrative region and 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany. The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status world city in their 2014 survey., Stuttgart was one of the host cities for the official tournaments of the 1974 and 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Since the 7th millennium BC, the Stuttgart area has been an important agricultural area and has been host to a number of cultures seeking to utilize the rich soil of the Neckar valley. The Roman Empire conquered the area in 83 AD and built a massive castrum near Bad Cannstatt, making it the most important regional centre for several centuries. Stuttgart’s roots were truly laid in the 10th century with its founding by Liudolf, Duke of Swabia, as a stud farm for his warhorses. Initially overshadowed by nearby Cannstatt, the town grew steadily and was granted a charter in 1320. The fortunes of Stuttgart turned with those of the House of Württemberg, and they made it the capital of their county, duchy, and kingdom from the 15th century to 1918. Stuttgart prospered despite setbacks in the Thirty Years’ War and devastating air raids by the Allies on the city and its automobile production during World War II. However, by 1952, the city had bounced back and it became the major economic, industrial, tourism and publishing centre it is today.
Stuttgart is also a transport junction, and possesses the sixth-largest airport in Germany. Several major companies are headquartered in Stuttgart, including Porsche, Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, Daimler AG, and Dinkelacker.
Stuttgart is unusual in the scheme of German cities. It is spread across a variety of hills (some of them covered in vineyards), valleys (especially around the Neckar river and the Stuttgart basin) and parks. This often surprises visitors who associate the city with its reputation as the “cradle of the automobile”. The city’s tourism slogan is “Stuttgart offers more”. Under current plans to improve transport links to the international infrastructure (as part of the Stuttgart 21 project), the city unveiled a new logo and slogan in March 2008 describing itself as “Das neue Herz Europas” (“The new Heart of Europe”). For business, it describes itself as “Where business meets the future”. In July 2010, Stuttgart unveiled a new city logo, designed to entice more business people to stay in the city and enjoy breaks in the area.
Stuttgart is a city with a high number of immigrants. According to Dorling Kindersley’s Eyewitness Travel Guide to Germany, “In the city of Stuttgart, every third inhabitant is a foreigner.” 40% of Stuttgart’s residents, and 64% of the population below the age of five, are of immigrant background.
- Betting Money Is Now on Supreme Court Keeping ACA Largely Intact
- Justices Reverse 5th Circuit Ruling in Case Against Black Lives Matter Activist
- Antitrust Lawsuit Against NFL and DirecTV Gets a Pass From SCOTUS. And a Warning.
- Supreme Court Will Decide Whether PTAB Judicial Appointments Are Unconstitutional
- Revisiting Loving v. Virginia After the Passing of Lawyer Bernhard Cohen
- Are There Any Federal Appellate Lawsuits Out There NOT Involving the 2020 Election?
- The Pros and Cons of Institutional Changes Being Floated for the Supreme Court