What Are Disabling Conditions?

Submitted by rsg on

If you have sustained one or more injuries or developed a debilitating illness that prevents you from working, you might qualify for financial assistance because of one of the disabling conditions listed by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Each year, the SSA publishes a list of disabilities in a medical guide called the Blue Book. To qualify for benefits, you must demonstrate you suffer from one of the Social Security disabling conditions. Working with a disability attorney can help you file a persuasive claim with the SSA.

What is in the SSA List of Disabilities?

Dozens of medical conditions qualify for disability benefits, with some of the most common types of disabling conditions including COPD, stroke, musculoskeletal disorders, and advanced stages of different types of cancer. The SSA publishes its annual list of disabilities in the Blue Book. Not only does a disability applicant have to receive a diagnosis for an eligible disabling condition, but the applicant also must match the severity of symptoms listed in the Blue Book.

When a team of medical examiners at the SSA reviews your disability claim, the team examines the results of diagnostic tests, as well as detailed descriptions of treatment programs and physical therapy sessions. Common types of diagnostic tests include x-rays, MRI, and CT scans. Imaging tests present evidence of fractures, brain trauma, and internal organ damage. If the SSA determines you suffer from one of the disabling conditions listed in the Blue Book, the federal government agency has the power to approve your disability benefits claim.

In addition to the Blue Book, you might qualify for financial assistance under the Compassionate Allowance program. The Compassionate Allowance program fast-tracks claims that include the worst cases of disabling conditions. The SSA offers something called the "Compassionate Allowances list" which is a list of medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits. Thus, the SSA's Compassionate Allowances list is usually the best way for people to determine what medical conditions automatically qualify for disability

What If My Condition is Not in the Blue Book?

If your medical condition does not list in the Blue Book or you do not meet the severity of symptoms criteria, do you have an alternative option to request disability benefits? The answer is yes when the SSA grants you a medical vocational allowance.

A medical vocational allowance involves a thorough review of your medical records to determine whether you suffer from a disabling condition, but the condition is not listed in the Blue Book.

You also have the option to undergo a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment, which represents one or more tests that measure your physical abilities and cognitive skills. The goal of completing an RFC is for the SSA to determine whether you can find another type of employment that does not exploit your mental and/or physical limitations. For example, the physician conducting your RFC assessment might ask you to complete a couple of aerobic exercises to measure your stamina.

If the SSA rules that you cannot perform any type of physical work, but you can complete mentally challenging tasks, the federal government agency might ask you to accept employment that leverages your cognitive skills. The SSA also has the authority to approve a disability claim even if you do not meet the medical guidelines listed in the Blue Book.

Get a Free Case Evaluation

Before you submit a disability claim, meet with a Social Security attorney to ensure you are filing the most convincing claim. Your lawyer may help you gather evidence, as well as file your claim before the deadline.

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