Medical conditions for disability insuranceAre you thinking about applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits? Perhaps you’re not really sure if you qualify? Some situations may require a more complicated application process, but several medical conditions automatically qualify for SSDI. Speaking with an experienced disability lawyer can help to clarify any questions you may have.

The following list of qualifying conditions is not meant to be exhaustive. However, it should give you a good idea of what could qualify for SSDI benefits.

Musculoskeletal System Problems

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), diseases and conditions relating to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue represent almost one-third of diagnoses among workers receiving disability benefits. This category of diagnoses can impair a person’s ability to move effectively. Their movement may be restricted or they may experience severe pain.

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic joint pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
  • Spine injuries

Respiratory Illnesses

Respiratory system disorders can impair or prevent someone from performing their job effectively. They may have trouble breathing or participating in prolonged periods of physical labor. Depending on the severity of the illness, even short bursts of physical activity may be challenging.

  • Asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Emphysema

Mental Disorders and Conditions

Physical ailments are not the only health conditions that can automatically qualify for SSDI. In fact, approximately 20 percent of disability benefit recipients report having a qualifying mental disorder. The Social Security Administration states that individuals with these conditions must be severely limited in their ability to function independently to qualify for benefits. 

  • Autism or Asperger’s syndrome
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia

Cardiovascular Conditions

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for most people in the United States. It’s no wonder cardiac and cardiovascular conditions similarly make up a significant portion of SSDI claims. These disorders can affect the heart itself, as well as the flow of blood to and from the heart.

  • Angina
  • Arrhythmia
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Blood Disorders

In addition, illnesses relating to the heart and the flow of blood are examples of health conditions affecting the blood itself. This can then extend to impairing a worker’s ability to perform their duties.

  • Bone marrow failure
  • Hemophilia
  • Sickle cell anemia

Nervous System and Neurological Conditions

Neurological conditions can have a profound impact on an individual’s motor function. Thus, their ability to perform the duties of their job effectively may be impaired. This can have an impact on both gross motor function and fine motor skills, affecting workers across a broad range of industries and work environments.

  • Benign brain tumors
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Traumatic brain injury

Sensory Organ and Speech Conditions

The Social Security Administration defines blindness as the inability to correct your vision to at least 20/200 in your better eye. If your vision or other senses, including speech, are otherwise impacted by a health condition, you may qualify for SSDI benefits. 

  • Blindness
  • Hearing loss
  • Impaired speech
  • Vision disorders

Endocrine Disorders

The endocrine system relates to the hormones circulating throughout your body. This includes the glands that secrete hormones, plus receptors and organs that respond to or are impacted by hormones. Endocrine dysfunction can lead to fatigue, weakness, unintended weight fluctuations, and mood swings.

  • Diabetes
  • Hyper/hypothyroidism
  • Pituitary gland disorders

Cancer and Benign Tumors

Both malignant tumors (cancer) and benign abnormal masses of tissue (non-cancerous) may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. According to the Social Security Administration, individuals with disorders like these made up nearly 10 percent of benefits awarded in 2011.

  • Breast cancer
  • Leukemia 
  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Other Disorders and Conditions

Several other health conditions and medical disorders may qualify for benefits. Some examples include the following:

  • Burns 
  • Chronic skin infections
  • Dermatitis
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Lupus

Call Us for a Free Consultation Today

Before you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, give us a call, and we can help walk you through the whole process. We will evaluate your claim and help put your mind at ease. Call 508-283-5500 or toll-free at 888-904-6847 to schedule an appointment with our legal team. You can also fill out our online contact form to request your free, no-obligation consultation.

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer