Conditions that get approved for disability

Conditions that get approved for disability

Any mental or physical condition may be approved for disability provided they cause you to be unable to perform SGA level work for twelve months or can be expected to prevent SGA for twelve months, or end in death.

Your disabling condition must be substantiated by objective medical evidence. Objective evidence (imaging, blood work, functional assessments, psychological testing, etc) can be supplied by medical physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, and most other medical professionals. The most common exception being chiropractors who are not regarded by SSA as approved medical treatment sources.

Social Security will, however, accept a Chiropractor's objective evidence, usually meaning Xrays, just not their conclusions, i.e. diagnoses. This means, logically, that disability examiners and disability judges will not accept a Chiropractor's diagnosis or opinions for the purposes of a disability determination on an application, appeal, or at a hearing.

Social Security will accept statements, opinions, and diagnoses from acceptable sources. This includes licensed MDs. If possible try to make sure any treatment you get for your disabling condition is from an acceptable medical source.

Social Security's definition of disability states that your disabling condition must be severe. Disability examiners use impairment listings that outline the criteria used to make their disability determinations. The listing are contained in a disability handbook that is organized by body system and specific disabling conditions.

You can find the impairment listings online by visiting the Social Security website. Each listing provides the medical evidence required and what limitations are needed to prove the severity of your disabling condition. If you are able to meet or equal the criteria of an impairment listing, you may be approved for disability.

However, you may get approved even if you are unable to meet or equal an impairment listing. If your disabling condition causes such severe limitations that it prevents you from performing any of the work you performed in the 15 years previous to becoming disabled, or any other kind of work, you may still be approved for disability through a medical vocational allowance.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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