Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?
Any mental or physical condition may qualify for Social Security disability benefits provided it prevents you from sustaining self-supporting work activity or substantial gainful activity (SGA) for twelve months or longer.
Social Security disability examiners use a disability guide book called “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security” or as it is more commonly known “the blue book”. The blue book impairment listings cover all body systems including the musculoskeletal system, special senses (visual and hearing), cardiovascular, respiratory system, digestive system, hemic and lymphatic system, skin, genito-urinary system, neurological system, mental disorders, neoplastic diseases (cancerous), and the immune system.
Each impairment listing provides specific medical documentation criteria (i.e. lab tests, clinical notes, diagnoses, etc.) needed to satisfy the severity requirement of the Social Security disability program. If your condition satisfies the requirements listed in an impairment listing you may qualify for disability benefits.
Social Security considers the effect your disabling condition has upon your ability to perform normal daily activities including work activity when they make their disability determination.
If your medical disability does not satisfy the requirements of the impairment listing used to evaluate your condition, you may still be approved for disability and satisfy Social Security Disability or SSI requirements provided that the condition causes limitations so severe that they prevent gainful employment. You may still be approved for disability benefits through a medical vocational allowance.
Medical vocational allowances are based on your age, residual functional capacity, education, and transferability of job skills. Social Security disability is about functional ability rather that your specific medical condition.
In order to be approved for disability benefits, you must have a physical or mental disabling condition documented through objective medical evidence that causes your residual functional capacity (what you are able to do in spite of the limitations of your condition) to be so restricted that you are unable to do any of your past work or any other kind of work (other kinds of work you are might be able to do with your job skills and limitations).
If you are unable to do any kind of substantial work activity due to the limitations of your medical disability you may qualify for disability benefits.
You can qualify for disability benefits with conditions such as fibromyalgia, depression, bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, degenerative disc disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, heart problems, and many other conditions. The point being, any condition can qualify you for disability if it causes significant limitations to your normal daily functioning.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria