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How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?



 
The simplest way to answer this question is in this fashion. To qualify for disability benefits in the Social Security Disability and SSI programs, you do not have to have a specific impairment from a specific list of impairments. Social Security will recognize any physical or mental medical condition as a disability as long as it is severe and meets the Social Security definition of disability, meaning that it must reduce a person's ability to work and earn a substantial and gainful income for a period of not less than one year.

Yes, the social security administration does have an impairment listing manual that cites the disability approval criteria for a certain number of physical and mental impairments. But, as extensive as this list of conditions is, far and away the vast majority of medical conditions are not listed in the manual, including:
  • Lyme disease
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Even bipolar disorder is not given its own listing but is simply included as a subset within the affective disorders listing.



However, though it may surprise some people to hear this, the inclusion or non-inclusion of an impairment in the "blue book", as its often called, is really somewhat irrelevant to the issue of qualifying for disability.

This is because the disability determination process focuses on--

A. the functional limitations a disability claimant has as a result of their condition or conditions and

B. whether or not those limitations exist to the extent that the claimant can be considered unable to return to their past work and also unable to perform suitable other work ("suitable" being influenced by the claimant's age, education, job skills and functional limitations).

In essence, nearly any medical condition can provide the basis for a disability approval as long as it is sufficiently limiting and as long as it sufficiently impairs a claimant's ability to work.

Of course, what this means for individuals filing an application for disability program benefits is this:

1. You must have solid medical record documentation. This includes documentation of when your condition began (to establish how far back social security will owe you back pay) and ongoing documentation of your condition to establish that you are currently disabled. Obviously, to supply this you must have ongoing medical treatment, (which can be difficult for many individuals due to health insurance coverage issues).

2. You should supply an accurate record of your work history, complete with job titles, dates of employment, and accurate descriptions of the work you performed on your various jobs. Accuracy is very important since the decision-making process takes into account your job skills, the transferability of those skills, and the exertional requirements of your past jobs.

If you do not supply accurate descriptions of your past work, you leave open the possibility that segments of your work history may be mis-categorized, and this may potentially affect the outcome of your case when vocational factors are brought under consideration.








Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state



Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?



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Who can help me file for disability?




Related pages:

Social Security Disability Approvals - Medical Conditions
Medical conditions that Social Security will recognize as a disability
Social Security Disability list of medical conditions
What medical conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
What mental conditions does Social Security (SSA) consider disabling?
Can you Get Automatically Approved For SSI And Social Security Disability?
Tips for filing a Social Security Disability Reconsideration
Social Security Disability denial letter and appeal
What happens after you request a disability hearing?
Steps and Tips for requesting a disability hearing
Which medical conditions will social security recognize as a disability?
If I don't get disability back pay, do I pay a lawyer fee?
What is the average time for an answer after a SSDI or SSI disability hearing?
Will I get an increase in my SSI check?
Getting disability and receiving a personal injury settlement
Do disability benefits come from SSI or SSDI?



These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida








For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.