What Conditions Qualify for Disability?

If you’ve considered applying for Social Security disability, there’s no doubt you have heard about how challenging it can be to get approved for benefits. The most straightforward way to receive disability is to qualify for a condition or impairment listed in the Social Security Administration’s manual, called the Blue Book. Whether or not you meet these criteria could determine if you are eligible for disability.

Looking to apply for Social Security and wondering what conditions qualify for disability benefits? Keep reading for an overview of what you can expect.

What Conditions Qualify for Disability?

There is an extensive list of medical conditions that will qualify you to receive disability benefits. Each of the categories below gives examples of types of health conditions that are eligible – you’ll want to make sure you educate yourself about any diagnosis, symptoms, or other criteria for your particular condition.

Cardiovascular – This includes conditions of the heart, such as heart failure, blood clots or high blood pressure
Digestive – Digestive disorders, such as Hepatitis or Crohn’s Disease
Endocrine – Gland conditions including obesity and thyroid disorders
Genitourinary – This involves impairments regarding reproductive organs and urinary system, including conditions requiring dialysis (for example, renal disease)
Hematological – Blood disorders, including Sickle Cell Disease or Chronic Anemia
Immune System – Conditions that compromise the immune system, such as HIV and Lupus
Malignant Neoplastic Diseases – Relates to various forms of cancer
MentalMental health illnesses, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or schizophrenia
Musculoskeletal – This includes conditions that directly affect the muscular and skeletal systems
Neurological – Related to the nervous system, including epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy
Respiratory System – Conditions related to the lungs, including asthma or other lung infections
Skin Issues – These could include Hidradenitis suppurativa, severe burns or chronic skin infections
Senses/Speech – This involves any impairments concerning sight and hearing

Does a Condition Have to Be Listed in the SSA Blue Book?

Your health condition does not necessarily have to be listed in the Blue Book, but it does have to be supported by sufficient medical documentation to be considered. If you have an impairment that directly impacts your ability to work but it is not listed in the Blue Book, there is a possibility the SSA will grant you disability.

Some examples of common impairments that are not listed in the Blue Book include:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Celiac Disease
  • Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Migraines

Compassionate Allowance Conditions

There are a handful of severe illnesses or injuries listed in the Blue Book that are considered “compassionate allowances.” This means that the SSA will expedite the process and only require proof of your diagnosis in order to be approved for benefits.

These conditions include:

  • Acute leukemia
  • Alzheimer’s disease (early-onset)
  • Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma
  • Breast cancer (stage IV or inflammatory)
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Small cell lung cancer

In addition to the conditions above, there are several conditions that qualify for disability if you can prove their existence through medical records. They get reviewed by SSA, typically after one year, to determine if the applicant is still considered disabled. These conditions include:

  • Cochlear transplant
  • Heart transplant
  • Kidney transplant
  • Liver transplant
  • Lung transplant

Significance of Medical Records

Regardless of your medical condition or impairment, one requirement stays the same – you must be able to provide proper medical records documenting your health. Claims for any condition will be denied if you fail to show hard medical evidence.

Even if your condition is medically eligible or listed as a “compassionate allowance,” check your records thoroughly before applying to make sure that no crucial details are left out.

Contact Our Disability Attorneys

The experienced team at Woodruff & Mathis has been working with Social Security disability cases for over 20 years, guiding clients through the complicated application process. Regardless of your medical condition, our lawyers can help you determine your eligibility and take the necessary steps to get started on your disability application. To speak with our Maine Social Security attorney, please contact us today.