Topic Categories:

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

Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

Social Security Disability and SSI 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 Disability Back Pay Benefits

Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices

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

Ask a question, get an answer

What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?

The social security administration has two separate systems of approval for mental and physical disabilities. The first is to indentify whether or not a condition is included in the social security disability list of impairments.

This is a reference work that is used by disability examiners and administrative law judges, the two types of decision-makers who decide the outcome of title II benefits (social security disability) and title 16 benefits (SSI disability claims). This reference work is also known as the blue book since it has historically been published with a blue cover.

Conditions that are listed in the blue book are organized and grouped according to body systems. So things like myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) and congentital heart disease and congestive heart failure are listed under the cardiovascular section, while conditions like diabetes and thyroid disorders are listed under the endocrine section. The listing book contains separate listings for mental and physical conditions and also differentiates between conditions that are held by adults and conditions that held by children.

To be approved for disability benefits via the listings, a person would have to present medical evidence that satisfies the disability approval criteria for a listed impairment.

For example, since the epilepsy listings (under the neurological section) specify that a person must have a certain frequency of seizures and that the seizures must occur in spite of medication, for a person to be approved under one of the epilepsy listings, their medical records should, ideally, indicate A) when their seizures have occurred, B) what types of seizures occurred and C) what the patient experienced as a physical or mental manifestation of their condition, either prior to or following the seizure episodes.

To qualify for SSI disability or SSD disability on the basis of satisfying a listing can be fairly difficult. Most claims that are eventually approved are not approved on the basis of meeting or equaling the requirements of a listing. If this is the case, how do you qualify for SSI, or for social security disability?

The social security administration has a second route for approvals which are called "medical vocational allowances". Med-voc allowances are decided through something known as sequential evaluation. This system is fairly simple though most disability claimants, undoubtedly, have never heart of it.

Under sequential evaluation, the person responsible for deciding whether to approve a claim or deny it (a disability examiner or a judge, depending on the level of the cliam) has to first decide if the claimant's condition is severe or non-severe. Most alleged impairments will be considered severe; however, some individuals apply for conditions as insubstantial as sprains and conditions as routine as pregnancy. These individuals will be given denials on the basis of an NSI, or non-severe impairment.

continued at: Qualifications for SSI and Social Security Disability

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