What Conditions Automatically Qualify for Disability?

Submitted by Deanna on Thu, 06/14/2018 - 12:19

You have probably heard that being approved for Social Security disability benefits can be challenging. Documentation is the key to a successful claim. You must have hard medical evidence that shows you are unable to work and that you meet the medical criteria to be approved for benefits. There are a few medical conditions, however, that do qualify for expedited approval. Some conditions automatically qualify for disability benefits if you have a confirmed diagnosis. There are a few conditions that warrant such approvals.

What Conditions Automatically Qualify You For Disability?


The best way to tell which conditions automatically qualify you for disability is to consult the compassionate allowances list. This list has over 200 conditions so it is important to view it. If your condition is on the list, it is likely that your application process will be expedited.


The Compassionate Allowances List

Some very serious injuries or illnesses are on the Compassionate Allowances List, which means that Social Security only requires the proof of your diagnosis to approve you for benefits:

  • Acute leukemia
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
  • Stage IV breast cancer
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma


A claim because of one of these conditions will get expedited attention, which means you might get a decision within a month of applying. That is the fastest or as close to automatic as you can expect with a Social Security disability claim. There are a few conditions that are on the Listing of Impairments Manual used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that will qualify for disability benefits if you can prove through medical records their existence or occurrence. Those conditions include:

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


For those five automatic disabilities, the SSA will review the case at the end of a year, or three years for a lung transplant, to determine if the claimant is still considered disabled per the SSA guidelines

Automatically approved conditions

The Importance of Medical Records

Even for these conditions that get automatic approval for disability benefits, the proper medical records are needed. Without hard medical evidence, any claim will be denied.

You must provide Disability Determination Services will all your medical records to show evidence of your diagnosis along with the necessary supporting information.

If your physician left out important supporting details, your claim could be denied although your condition is classified as medically eligible for disability benefits. Your denial notice will explain why your claim was denied, and you can then appeal and provide the additional details needed to support your claim.

The Financial Standpoint

Even if you have a condition that will automatically qualify for disability benefits, the SSA will consider the financial situation. If you are working enough to exceed the limits for substantial gainful activity (SGA), your claim will be denied. Often, claimants continue working part-time to cover some basic living expenses. If their income exceeds the SGA, their claim will be denied because the SSA believes the individual can continue working and earn a sufficient living.

Consult With a Disability Attorney

If you are unable to work because of a medical condition, you should consult with a Social Security disability attorney. Your odds of approval increase significantly with the help of an attorney. Get your free case evaluation today.

Additional Resources

Blog comments


In reply to by Barbara Blackwelll (not verified)

Hi Barbara,

If you are currently still able to work, it may be difficult to get approved for disability benefits as they are typically for those who are unable to work. You can look over the SSA's Blue Book to see if you meet the Blue Book listing to medically qualify with your tinnitus.

Fri, 09/04/2020 - 10:57 Permalink
Renee Muse (not verified)

I have a very rare lung infection. I had to have 1/3 of my lung removed. There is no cure for what I have. Do I have a good chance of being approved. I'm also on experimental drugs.

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 10:27 Permalink
Denise (not verified)

I have two Degenerative Disc's in lower back, i have complications with everyday Activities, even with therapy i struggle every day, would i Qualify??

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 10:36 Permalink
John (not verified)

I am a medically retired disabled veteran. I have a seizure disorder and Schizoaffective disorder. I get paid by the VA. Can I apply for disability?

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 15:07 Permalink

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