Answers to winning a disability case in NC| Social Security Disability Resource Center

Which conditions should I try to get disability for?

by Tim Moore, Disability Representative in North Carolina

Very often, claimants apply for disability based on a number of medical conditions. However, the condition that they think is going to get them disability benefits…may not be the condition that actually does.

In many cases, the condition that has greater documentation, i.e. medical records, may be the one that ultimately gets their claim approved.

For example, a person may have a problem with a knee or an ankle but be out of work due to depression. That same person, had they still been on the job, might have found that the knee or ankle problem caused much more pain and limitation than even they believed.

Here are the important things to remember when you file a disability claim and you have multiple medical conditions, physical, mental, or both.

First of all, list every condition that you have. If you believe you suffer from a condition but haven’t actually been treated for it, list it anyway. Is an untreated condition a good way to get approved? Of course not. You need objective medical evidence. But, Social Security still needs to know about your symptoms and what they are tied to, and they may also send you to a consultative medical exam which they will schedule with a local physician, and pay for. Depression is a good example of this.

Can you get approved for disability with just one medical condition?

It happens, particularly in cases where a person satisfies a disability listing. However, most claimants will not qualify for disability through a listing. Listings are very difficult to get awarded benefits for. The listings for Spinal disorders and Arthritis are a good example of this.

Most claimants will get approved this way: the disability examiner or judge will review the medical records and the work history and your vocational factors (including age and education) to decide A) what you are still able to do, B) what your past work required of you, C) whether you can still do your past work, and D) if you can do something else.

If you can’t do your past work, and you can’t do anything else, you will qualify for disability.

But, remember, you need to list all conditions, all symptoms, and all the ways your conditions limits your daily activities.