SSD Qualifying Conditions & Types of Disabilities
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a list of impairments known as the “Blue Book” to help determine if your illness, disease, or medical condition is severe enough to qualify you for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. If your condition isn’t in the Blue Book, you may still be eligible for SSD if you can prove to the SSA that your condition prevents you from working.
Conditions That Qualify for SSD Benefits
Types of disabilities that may qualify you for SSD benefits include:
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a life-threatening condition that infects and attacks the white blood cells in the body used to fight off foreign diseases. The last stage of HIV infection is known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and fatal brain disease. The disorder destroys brain cells, which causes memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior.
Amputations—or loss of body parts—resulting from trauma, disease, or illness can vary in severity and interfere with the ability to perform vital job tasks.
Anemia develops when blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells—the main transporters of oxygen to organs—to provide enough oxygen to the body. As a result, people suffering from anemia often feel tired and fatigued on a regular basis.
Anxiety disorders are characterized by patterns of frequent worry and anxiousness during many different events or activities. Common symptoms include difficulty concentrating or controlling worry, fatigue, palpitations, shortness of breath, irritability, and sleep disturbances.
Arthritis is a term used to describe more than 100 medical conditions that cause joint pain, stiffness, inflammation, and cartilage damage. “Systemic” forms of arthritis may affect the entire body, causing swelling, inflammation of internal organs, and eye disease.
- Autoimmune Diseases
More than 80 types of autoimmune diseases—sometimes referred to as rheumatic diseases, connective tissue disorders, or collagen vascular disorders—cause the body’s immune system to attack and destroy healthy body tissue and antigens in addition to bacteria, viruses, and toxins.
- Back and Spine Conditions
Back pain and other disorders of the spine can affect the lower, middle, or upper back. Common causes of back pain include muscle or nerve problems, degenerative disc disease, and arthritis.
- Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, causes mood swings between depressive feelings and manic episodes. Mood changes can vary in severity and range from several times a day to a few times a year.
- Blindness & Vision Impairment
Blindness and vision impairment can be caused by a number of diseases and conditions, including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa.
Cancer is a term used to describe more than 100 potentially fatal diseases that can affect nearly every body system. The diseases lead to potentially unlimited cell growth. Left untreated, cancerous cells can invade healthy tissue areas and spread to other areas of the body, leading to death.
Depression is an affective disorder characterized by disturbance of mood and full or partial manic or depressive syndrome. Symptoms can include feelings of intense helplessness, sadness, or hopelessness that last for months at a time.
Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, can be inherited in genes and is caused by an improper production and/or use of insulin in the body. Insulin is needed to turn sugar and other food into energy. If your body fails to produce and use insulin in the right way, sugar builds up in the bloodstream.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures, or brief electrical disturbances in the brain. Each person’s seizures are unique to him or her, and every diagnosis can come with varied symptoms.
- Hearing Impairment
Hearing impairment—or deafness—is a condition that affects a person’s ability to process sound. Hearing losses can have a variety of causes and range in severity and treatability.
- Heart and Blood Vessel Diseases
Cardiovascular problems, or complications related to the heart and blood vessels, affect the proper functioning of the heart or circulatory system—including arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymphatic drainage.
Hepatitis is a viral infection that attacks the liver and causes inflammation. The condition is the leading cause of liver cancer and most common reason for liver transplantation in the United States.
- Intellectual Disabilities
Intellectual disabilities are mental disorders that can affect the ability to communicate, learn, develop, and live independently. Severity of intellectual disabilities varies from case to case, with some individuals requiring constant care and others able to lead relatively independent lives.
- Kidney Disease
Kidney disease, or renal disease, occurs when kidneys fail to filter excess fluids and wastes in blood, allowing them to build up in the body. The disease progresses in severity over time and can increase the risk of developing other conditions, such as anemia, cardiovascular disease, and nerve damage.
- Learning Disorders
Learning disorders can lead to trouble listening, paying attention, speaking clearly, reading, writing, and doing math. Many who suffer from learning disorders also suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition that can make paying attention even more difficult.
A chronic inflammatory disease caused by the immune system attacking its own tissues and organs, lupus can affect different body systems, such as joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, and lungs.
- Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the central nervous system by attacking myelin, the fatty substance surrounding and protecting nerve fibers in the body. The damaged nerve fibers create scar tissue, interrupting nerve impulses between the brain and spinal cord and impairing motor functions and vision.
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
Muscoloskeletal disorders affect the joints, major limbs, or spine and may be hereditary or result from disease or trauma. These conditions may limit the ability to walk, move the upper body, or perform basic work activities.
- Respiratory Conditions
Chronic respiratory conditions or diseases can cause chest pain, trouble breathing, the development of acute lung illnesses, and even respiratory failure.
Reflexive sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS), also referred to as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), affects the nervous system and causes chronic pain often accompanied by debilitating swelling, skin changes, and skin sensitivity.
Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects a person’s ability to interpret reality. The condition disrupts thinking and the balance of emotions and can result in a variety of symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, and difficulty organizing thoughts.
- Speech Disorders
Speech disorders can cause an inability to produce speech sounds correctly and other voice problems, such as uneven voice pitch or changes in the volume of speech.
Even if you suffer from a condition or combination of conditions listed in the SSA’s Blue Book, the SSA must find your disability severe enough to meet their strict eligibility guidelines. At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Social Security Disability lawyers are here to fight for the SSD benefits you’re owed. Call (800) 477-7315 or complete our free online form to get the experienced legal help you deserve today.