Social Security Medical Conditions

Submitted by Chris on

For many suffering from debilitating medical conditions and disabilities, the process of determining whether or not you are eligible for benefits can be daunting. The main question regarding this is: What conditions qualify for disability?

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA) “blue book”, there are several medical conditions that will qualify you for benefits, however there is always room for exception.

If your condition is not listed below, but your condition is so severe that you are not able to work, you still may qualify for benefits.

The following list details conditions that are deemed severe enough to prevent the individual from being able to work and gain income on an ongoing basis. A majority of the listed conditions are considered irreversible. This means that the condition most likely will result in death.

If your specific condition is not listed, you have the option of appealing your case and proving that the ailment has prevented you from working for the course of a year, or that your condition will prevent you from working for at least twelve full months.

This list identifies fourteen impairments that - if considered severe enough - would likely prevent the individual from participating in 'gainful activity' or working for a sustainable income:

Musculoskeletal Systems

This includes disorders of the musculoskeletal system, abnormalities to major joints, disorders of the spine, reconstructive surgery, amputation, soft tissue injury and other miscellaneous conditions contributing to weakness of the lower extremities. This category also includes fractures to the femur, tibia, pelvis, tarsal bone/bones, or a fracture of an upper extremity.

Special Senses & Speech

This includes abnormalities of the eye, statutory blindness, belpharospasm, scotoma, hearing loss, loss of speech, and vertigo.

Respiratory System

Conditions in this category include chronic pulmonary insufficiency, asthma, cystic fibrosis, pneumonoconiosis, bronchiectasis, chronic lung infections, sleep-related breathing disorders, and lung transplants.

Cardiovascular System

Heart conditions are often very serious and debilitating; this list outlines several of the most common and accepted heard conditions for disability benefits eligibility: chronic heart failure, ischemic heart disease, recurrent arrhythmias, symptomatic congenital heart disease, heart transplant, aneurysm of aorta, chronic venous insufficiency, and peripheral arterial disease.

Digestive System

This includes gastrointestinal hemorrhaging from any cause, chronic liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), short bowel syndrome (SBS), weight loss due to any digestive disorder, and liver transplantation.

Genitourinary Impairments

This category includes impairment of renal function, and nephrotic syndrome

Hematological Disorders

This list outlines the following: chronic anemia, sickle cell disease, or one of its variants, chronic thrombocytopenia, hereditary telangiectasia, coagulation defects, polycythemia vera, myelofibrosis, chronic granulocytopenia, and aplastic anemias with bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.

Skin Disorders

Many skin conditions are eligible for benefits, including: ichthyosis, bullous disease, chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, genetic photosensitivity disorders, and burns.

Endocrine System

This includes thyroid disorders, hyperparathyroidism, neurohypophyseal insufficiency (diabetes insipidus), hyperfunction of the adrenal cortex, and diabetes mellitus.

Impairments that Affect Multiple Body Systems

This includes non-mosaic down syndrome.


There are countless neurological conditions that classify as being eligible for benefits: epilepsy, a central nervous system vascular accident, benign brain tumors, parkinsonian syndrome, cerebral palsy, spinal cord or nerve root lesions, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anterior poliomyelitis, myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophy, peripheral neuropathies, subacute combined cord degeneration, cerebral trauma, syringomyelia, and many other degenerative diseases not listed.

Mental Disorders

This encompasses the following: organic mental disorders, schizophrenia, paranoia, affective disorders, mental retardation, anxiety related disorders, somatoform disorders, personality disorders, substance addiction disorders, autistic disorders, and pervasive development disorders.

Malignant Neoplastic Diseases

This includes soft tissue tumors of the head and neck, soft tissue sarcoma, lymphoma, leukemia; multiple myeloma, salivary glands, thyroid gland, breast diseases, skeletal system-sarcoma, maxilla, orbit or temporal fossa, nervous system, lungs, esophagus or stomach ailments, small intestine and large intestine problems, liver or gallbladder ailments, ureters carcinoma, urinary bladder carcinoma, cancers of the female or male genitals, testicles, and malignant neoplastic diseases treated by bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.

Immune System Disorders

This includes systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic vasculitis, systemic sclerosis, polymyositis and dermatomyositis, undifferentiated and mixed connective tissue disease, Immune deficiency disorders (excluding HIV infections), human immunodeficiency (HIV) infection, inflammatory arthritis, and sjogren’s syndrome

There are many other conditions that are not listed here that still may qualify you for Social Security Disability; the important thing to remember is to try and appeal for disability benefits if the condition you suffer from is preventing you from working a full year's worth of time, or will prevent you from working an entire twelve months.

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