If I developed an additional medical condition, can I receive benefits for multiple illnesses?

Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) may be your sole source of income when you’re unable to work due to a serious medical condition.

Getting by every month on what SSDI and/or SSI provides may be challenging, but benefits through these disability programs at least give you consistent income on which you can count for covering your living expenses, medical bills, and other costs.


Disability Coverage for Multiple Medical Conditions


Whether you are disabled by a single impairment or a combination of serious medical conditions, approval for disability benefits is the same. Likewise, the dollar amount of your monthly benefit payment remains the same no matter how many disabling conditions may qualify you for SSDI and/or SSI.

In other words, your benefits do not increase based on the development of an additional impairment. That being said, you should always keep the SSA informed of any changes in your medical condition.

Can I apply for more than one illness?


Reporting Responsibilities


Disabled individuals that receive SSDI and/or SSI benefits are required by law to inform the SSA of any changes that may affect eligibility for benefits. This includes improvements in your qualifying medical condition, but also any changes in other considered factors, like marital status, work activity, living arrangements, or financial circumstances.

Although the medical condition for which you receive benefits now may not have improved, the development of an additional qualifying medical condition is an important detail of which the SSA should be informed.

The condition for which you were initially approved for benefits could improve at some point. If that happens, then your continued eligibility for disability could come into question. Informing the SSA of additional or new impairments may prevent you from experiencing continuing eligibility concerns in the future.


Multiple Medical Conditions and Continuing Eligibility Reviews


Every person that receives disability benefits goes through periodic re-evaluations of their eligibility. These continuing eligibility reviews are scheduled based on the likelihood of improvement with a disabling condition. Your review schedule may be every 12 or 18 months or may be less frequent, like every three years.

No matter what your schedule is though, the development of a new impairment can potentially change the schedule on which the SSA must look at your continued eligibility for benefits. In other words, your continuing edibility reviews may happen less often. This in turn means you’re troubled less frequently with additional questionnaires or forms from the SSA and don’t have to go to the local SSA office for review appointments as often either.


Consulting with an Attorney on Disability Matters


Even though you already receive disability benefits, questions about SSA processes, eligibility rules, and other topics may come up now and then. An attorney that specializes in areas disability law can help you find the answers you need and can ensure you do everything you must to keep your benefit eligibility in good standing with the SSA. You can learn more by filling out this free evaluation form.


Additional Resources

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