Common Medical Conditions That Qualify for SSD Benefits
Are you suffering from a disability that prevents you from working? If so, you might be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. But to qualify, you need to prove that you meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability. You’ll also need to show how the disability keeps you out of work.
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is a complex process. It’s critical to complete your paperwork properly and include all the necessary medical records to support your claim. The Social Security Administration (SSA) processes many applications each year, and data shows around 70 percent of initial applications are denied. One simple error could mean the difference between getting the SSD benefits you need and facing the hassle of the reconsideration and appeals process.
With so much on the line, it’s essential to consult with an experienced Arizona disability attorney before submitting your application for SSD benefits. The legal team at Matt Fendon Law Group can assist you through every step of the process. We’ll collect the necessary information to support your request and help with an appeal if your first application is denied.
Don’t apply for benefits without talking to an SSD lawyer first. Call or contact Matt Fendon Law Group today for a free consultation.
What Is the Blue Book?
Officially called the “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security,” the Social Security Blue Book lists impairments that the SSA considers severe enough to prevent a person from working. It also describes the eligibility criteria that an individual must meet to receive SSD benefits.
Common Medical Conditions Listed as Impairments
Some of the common medical conditions named in the Blue Book include:
- Cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease, coronary artery disease, angina, hypertension, abnormal heart rhythm, and congenital heart defects
- Musculoskeletal issues, such as arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
- Sensory and speech problems, such as vision or hearing loss
- Respiratory conditions, such as chronic pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, and asthma
- Immune system disorders, including HIV/AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Skin disorders, such as burns
- Digestive system issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), short bowel syndrome, and liver disease
- Neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, neuralgia, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and sciatica
- Mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, mood disorders, and other mental disorders
- Genitourinary disorders, including nephrotic syndrome and kidney disease
- Cancer, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, mesothelioma, prostate cancer, and brain cancer
- Hematological disorders, including thrombosis, hemostasis, bone marrow failure, and hemolytic anemia
If you have further questions about whether your medical condition could qualify for SSD benefits, contact an experienced lawyer at Matt Fendon Law Group to discuss your case.
Getting SSD for Listed Medical Conditions
If your medical condition is listed in the Social Security Blue Book, you may qualify for SSD. To apply for benefits, you’ll need to meet specific criteria. You must demonstrate that:
- Your disability prevents you from working at your previous job.
- You cannot perform any other “substantial gainful activity” (SGA).
- Your disability will last for at least 12 months or end in death.
The Social Security Administration recommends applying for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. There is a five-month waiting period to receive benefits. The clock starts ticking after you’ve been disabled for a month. This means the earliest you could receive your first payment would be six months after you became disabled.
If you believe you meet the criteria to apply for SSD, you can apply for benefits online through the SSA’s website. You can also contact the Social Security Administration by phone at 1-800-772-1213, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The SSA will schedule an appointment for you to apply when you call. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the SSA by calling their TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.
You are not required to hire a Social Security Disability lawyer to apply for benefits. However, it’s wise to speak with one before submitting your application to improve your chances of getting it approved.
What If My Disability Is Not Listed?
If your disability is not in the Blue Book, it’s you still may qualify for benefits. To determine your eligibility, you would need to demonstrate that your condition(s) are “equal” in severity to a listed impairment.
What Medical Evidence Do I Need to Qualify?
Medical evidence is the foundation of a successful disability benefits claim. Examples of potential evidence include:
- MRI scans
- CAT scans
- A physical exam
- Physicians’ medical exam records
- Documentation of treatments
- Medical history
- Ongoing treatment records
- Psychological records
- Bloodwork results
You must present recent medical evidence that encompasses the entire time you have been disabled. The medical records that you submit must also indicate that you cannot currently engage in any substantial gainful activity (employment) due to the severity of the condition.
What Is “Equaling” a Disability Listing?
If your impairment is not listed in the Social Security Blue Book, you can “equal” a disability listing if your symptoms are similar to the symptoms of a listed impairment. If you have multiple disabling conditions, you can also qualify by demonstrating that all of your impairments are equal in severity to one of the listings.
Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney in Arizona Today
Need help applying for SSD benefits or preparing an appeal? The Arizona disability attorneys at Matt Fendon Law Group are here to help. Contact our office today for a free consultation.