What Medical Conditions Qualify for Social Security Disability?

Disabling Conditions Eligible for Social Security Disability

Contained on this page is a listing of disabling conditions that can be considered severe enough by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to qualify a person for Social Security disability benefits. These conditions can interfere with an individual’s ability to achieve gainful employment, thereby making that person eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits.

SSDI benefits are for those who at one point could work, but can't anymore because of a disabling condition. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you need to have earned enough work credits from your work history and you need to have a disability that keeps you from being able to work full time for at least 12 months or longer.

SSI benefits is a needs-based program. It is for those have a serious disabling condition and have very limited income and resources. In order to qualify for SSI benefits, you need to meet both the medical and financial requirements outlined by the SSA. 

Many of these conditions are described in the impairment listing manual, or "Blue Book," used by state-run Disability Determination Services (DDS) to determine whether or not a person meets the SSA's criteria for total disability. Claimants who meet the eligibility criteria for a condition listed in the Blue Book should be awarded benefits through the Social Security Disability application process.

In addition to the Blue Book conditions listed below, individuals may qualify for disability benefits under one of the SSA's 200+ Compassionate Allowance listings. The SSA's Compassionate Allowances list is usually the best way to find out what medical conditions automatically qualify for disability.

Through the Compassionate Allowance initiative, claimants suffering from extremely severe medical conditions may qualify for expedited consideration of their Social Security Disability claim, thereby drastically reducing the waiting period before approval. Conditions on the Compassionate Allowance list may automatically qualify you for disability benefits.

Requirements for a Condition to Qualify for Disability

Thousands of medical conditions qualify for Social Security disability including the most common being; musculoskeletal disorders such as degenerative disc disease, advanced stages of cancer, respiratory conditions such as COPD, stroke and heart failure.

There are thousands of conditions that qualifies someone for disability. In order to for your condition to qualify for disability, it needs to match a listing in the SSA’s Blue Book, which is the list of conditions and the criteria its needs in order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. 

Each condition in the SSA’s Blue Book will tell you exactly what is needed and what the SSA looks for when they are evaluating that condition for disability.

When the SSA is evaluating your application to see if your condition qualifies for disability, it will look at medical evidence such as x-rays, MRIs and doctors’ notes to see if your condition is so severe that you will no longer be able to work for at least twelve months.

If your disability meets the criteria of that listing, the SSA will deem you disabled and you will be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

If you believe that you are disabled and would like to know more about applying for Social Security Disability with any of the following conditions, please click on the name of the disease for detailed information about symptoms, diagnoses, and SSA disability criteria for that particular condition. Additionally, you can complete a free evaluation form to find out if you qualify. 

What Medical Conditions Qualify for Social Security Disability?

Conditions that qualify for SSDI and SSI include:

What Conditions Automatically Qualify You For Disability Benefits?

It is never easy winning a claim for disability benefits but there are situations when the Social Security Administration (SSA) will more readily approve such claims. One is if your disability qualifies under Compassionate allowances while the other is if you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Compassionate Allowances

Through the Compassionate Allowance scheme, claimants who qualify are likely to be suffering from a severe medical condition so the SSA fast tracks their claims for disability benefits which mean that the normal waiting time is reduced considerably. Conditions on the Compassionate Allowance list may automatically qualify you for disability benefits.

Terminal Illnesses

When applying for social security disability benefits with a terminal illness, you may qualify to have your application fast tracked. These are called (TERI Cases) and your application can be processed faster than other cases.

How to Apply for Social Security Disability

The easiest way to apply for Social Security disability is online at the SSA’s website. The Social Security disability application process is simple and straightforward. The SSA will let you know everything it needs when you submit your Social Security disability application.

You can start and stop your Social Security disability application at your convenience. When you are applying for Social Security disability, it is recommended to present as much medical evidence of your condition as possible.

The more medical evidence the SSA has, the more likely you are to qualify and be approved for Social Security disability. In fact, providing sufficient medical evidence is the first of several signs that you will be approved for disability. Once your initial Social Security disability application is completed, you should hear back from the SSA within 3 to 5 months with their decision. You do have the option of appealing the SSA’s decision if you are denied disability.

You Could Be Entitled to $3,627 Per Month! Get a Free Disability Evaluation

It can be a challenge to qualify for Social Security disability, especially in the initial application process. Because of that, you may want to speak with an attorney or disability advocate when applying for a claim, regardless of your diagnosis.

Qualifying for Social Security is determined by your medical eligibility and how severely your condition affects your ability to work--an attorney can help explain the process and represent your case in court if need be.

Get Your Free Evaluation

Last Updated: 10/9/2023

Additional Resources