Common Medical Conditions Qualifying For Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI)

According to 2021, Census Bureau estimates, there are roughly 42.5 million Americans with disabilities, accounting for approximately 13% of the overall population. Individuals in this group have hearing, vision, cognition, walking, self-care, or independent living problems.
Furthermore, Americans with impairments have lower salaries than those without disabilities. According to the Census Bureau, the median wages for people with disabilities in 2021 were $28,438, while those without disabilities earned a median of $40,948.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), people with disabilities made up around 4% of the employed population in the United States in 2022.

Social Security Administration's (SSA) Disability Evaluation

Qualifying for disability benefits can be a challenging process that requires a significant quantity of paperwork and evidence to support your claim for financial assistance due to a medical condition. There is usually a waiting period after you submit your application before your eligibility is determined. If your application is denied, you will need to spend more time and effort appealing the decision. As a consequence, it’s a good idea to check your medical condition’s eligibility against the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) guidelines before submitting an SSDI application.

While no circumstances automatically ensure disability benefits, several conditions may result in faster approval. The “Blue Book” of the Social Security Administration summarises the most prevalent conditions considered for evaluation when filing for disability benefits. If your disease is not included in the Blue Book, you may still be eligible if it prevents you from engaging in significant gainful activity (SGA) and is likely to keep you from working for at least a year.

Before delving into the most generally accepted medical illnesses, it is critical to grasp the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, which may differ from a medical diagnosis. The terms “substantial gainful activity (SGA)” and “significant functional impairment” are important to understand since the SSA uses these markers to establish eligibility for benefits.

"Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)"

If your income exceeds a particular level known as “substantial gainful activity” (SGA), you may lose your eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The SGA limit is changed on an annual basis to reflect changes in the national average pay. The SGA limit is scheduled to $1,470 per month in 2023 ($2,460 for blind individuals).

A person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) to be eligible for disability compensation. Individuals are regarded to be engaging in SGA if their monthly earnings exceed the specified level of $1,470. While it is permissible to work while receiving disability benefits, having a monthly income that is close to or exceeds the SGA limit can jeopardize those benefits.

"Significant Functional Impairment"

Functional impairments (FI) cause difficulties with essential daily activities such as dressing, grooming, getting in and out of bed, preparing meals, managing finances, and doing housework.

To be eligible for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits due to a mental illness, the application must clearly demonstrate considerable functional impairment directly related to the person’s diagnosis. This impairment may involve issues understanding, remembering, applying knowledge, difficulties connecting with people, difficulties concentrating, continuing, or sustaining pace, as well as difficulties adapting or managing oneself.

Proving Your Disability As Per SSA Requires

  • Your disability prevents you from engaging in the same work you were doing before becoming disabled.
  • Your condition prevents you from engaging in any other “substantial gainful activity” or other job.
  • Your condition is expected to last at least 12 months or is terminal in nature.
  • If you have the ability to work to some extent, your condition restricts you from earning more than $1,470 per month.

The SSDI Benefit Group team of skilled disability advocates has produced a comprehensive list of ailments and disorders recognized by the SSA. Also, find explanations of the standard constraints and prerequisites required for each condition to be accepted.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

These disorders involve bones, major joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, or other soft tissues, including deformities and amputations.
Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Spine Disorders, Scoliosis, Ruptured Discs, Carpal Tunnel, Degenerative disc disease and more Qualify
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Special Senses & Speech

This category of impairments comprises conditions impacting a person's vision, hearing, and speech
Loss of Speech, vision or hearing efficiency, Disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function are some of the conditions qualifies under this category
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Respiratory Disorders

Respiratory illnesses that cause difficulty exhaling, inhaling, or lung capacity concerns are eligible for certification in this category.
Asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, lung transplant, COPD, chronic respiratory disorders, respiratory failure and more qualifies under this category
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Cardiovascular System

Any disorder that affects the proper functioning of the heart or the circulatory system qualifies under this category
Heart transplant, failure, recurrent arrhythmias, Ischemic heart disease, congenital heart disease, Peripheral arterial disease and more qualifies under this category
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Digestive System

Digestive system disorders include issues and diseases that affect different elements of your digestive system.
Chronic liver disease, liver transplantation, short bowel syndrome (SBS), Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Intestinal hemorrhaging and more qualifies
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Genitourinary Disorders

The genitourinary system, which comprises the urinary and reproductive systems, is affected by genitourinary diseases.
Chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, kidney transplant, renal osteodystrophy, anasarca, anorexia, Fluid overload syndrome and more qualifies.
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Hematological Disorders

These conditions predominantly impact the blood and blood-forming organs.
Myelodysplastic syndromes, bone marrow failure, aplastic anemia, granulocytopenia, thrombosis, hemostasis and more Qualifies
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Skin Disorders

Skin disorders that may result from hereditary, congenital, or acquired pathological processes qualifies under this category
Ichthyosis, photosensitivity, burns, chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, and more qualifies
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Endocrine Disorders

An endocrine disorder is a medical ailment that results in a hormonal imbalance.
Disorders of Thyroid, Adrenal, Pituitary or pancreatic gland, diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and more qualifies under this category
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Congenital Disorders

Congenital diseases are structural or functional defects that arise during prenatal life. Also known as birth defects.
Down syndrome, perinatal infectious diseases, chromosomal disorders, Tay-Sachs disease, Trisomy X syndrome and more qualifies
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Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders are diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, affecting brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves.
Epilepsy, brain tumors, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord/brain, injuries, Parkinson's, and more qualifies.
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Mental Disorders

Mental health disorders refer to a wide spectrum of mental health issues characterized by disturbances in mood, thinking, and behavior.
Neurocognitive disorders, schizophrenia, depressive, bipolar, Intellectual , anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, Autism, Eating disorder and more qualifies
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Cancer is a collection of disorders characterized by abnormal cell development and the ability to infiltrate or spread to other regions of the body.
Lung cancer, Kidney cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, Intestinal cancer, bone marrow transplant, pancreatic cancer and more qualifies.
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Immune System Disorders

These disorders are caused by compromised immune system leading to host of medical issues
HIV, Lupus, Arthritis, Scleroderma, autoimmune disorders, connective tissue disease, vasculitis, Immune deficiency disorders and more qualifies
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Physical Injuries

Mechanical trauma, exposure to heat or cold, electrical discharges, pressure fluctuations, and radiation are all examples of physical injuries.
Traumatic brain injury, peripheral nerve injuries, neck injury, spinal Injury, vertebral fracture, amputation, and more qualifies
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What if Your Medical Condition is not on the List?

The SSA Blue Book cannot feasibly encompass an exhaustive list of all potential medical conditions and illnesses that might manifest as long-term disabilities. Notably, many common impairing conditions like diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia, though significant impairments, are not featured as listed impairments in the Blue Book but they can still be approved. However, when your medical condition isn’t explicitly mentioned, it becomes crucial to align with the SSA’s established criteria for determining disability, as outlined above.

Furthermore, it is imperative to establish that your condition holds comparable severity to those outlined in the Blue Book. The ensuing general guidelines are of significance:

  • Your health condition should be an identifiable medical impairment, substantiated by clinical documentation.
  • Your medical condition ought to curtail your residual functional capacity—indicative of the most demanding task achievable considering your health—and your level of exertion to an extent that impedes your ability to carry out your previous occupation or any alternate employment.


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