I often get the question, what types of conditions would qualify me for Social Security Disability?
The answer is: there are hundreds of conditions, from common to unusual. Disabilities can be purely physical or psychological. They can result from accidents (including work-related accidents), or they can arise as an unexpected diagnosis or steadily worsening condition. Depending on their severity, disabilities can include:
Certain diagnoses are so terrible that they automatically qualify for benefits. You just have to prove you have the condition. These are called “compassionate allowance” cases.
Social Security Regulations cover EVERY different system of the body and almost every disease you can think of . Have leukemia? There’s a section covering that. Cardiac arrythmia? There’s a section covering that. Every condition has a “Listing” that basically says, if you meet these requirements, you are considered “disabled.” And all mental impairments are considered right along with the physical.
An example of one of the most commonly used “Listings” is the section that applies to spinal disorders. Generally, in order to “Meet or Equal” this Listing (so that you immediately qualify medically for benefits) you would have to show through medical reports, etc:
“nerve root compression;limitation of motion of the spine; motor loss, atrophy, sensory or reflex loss, positive straight leg raising………”
The trick part of Social Security Disability is that YOU CAN WIN EVEN IF YOU DON’T MEET THESE REQUIREMENTS.
These Listings for each condition just mean that BASED ON YOUR MEDICAL CONDITION ALONE, YOU WIN without taking into account other factors such as age, education, work experience.
Whether someone meets or equals a “Listing” is just “Step Three” of a Five Step Process that Social Security uses to determine if you are disabled.
Bottom line: almost any condition can render someone disabled under Social Security’s rules. But how severe that condition is, and how it affects the particular individual, is the key.
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