Improving quality of life is a huge component of our overall health. That can be difficult to do if you have a disability. In addition to overcoming the day-to-day limitations of a disability, it can be difficult to find work. Being unable to earn a living only adds to the stress, which negatively impacts health on many levels.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are federal programs that provide assistance to people in need. Only ailments listed on the Social Security Disability list of impairments (also called the blue book) are eligible. In some cases, conditions that are not listed may also qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits.
It should be noted that qualifying for disability benefits is often a complicated process. Simply having a disability often isn’t enough to qualify. It may be beneficial to get help from an SSD specialist. Organizations like Myler Disability can provide assistance during the application process to minimize the chance of being denied.
Data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) has shown roughly 50% of SSD applications are denied. However, you have the right to appeal the decision. If the wellbeing of your family hinges on the ability to get benefits, it’s a good idea to exercise this right.
Conditions That Qualify for SSDI and SSI Benefits
Generally speaking, you must have a medical condition that prevents you from being able to find and secure a job. Even after receiving benefits, recipients are encouraged to continue looking for employment and earning an independent income.
This is a fairly broad category that includes conditions affecting the joints, bones and back. Given that back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the U.S., it’s no surprise that musculoskeletal problems are the most common condition among benefit recipients.
Injuries to the spine that affect the ability to move are also included in this category. Amputation is another eligible condition, but typically only if it’s a double amputation.
In 2016, mental disorders were the second most common condition covered by disability benefits. In total, 26.3% of disabled workers receive benefits due to a mental disorder. Some of the most common eligible mental disorders include:
- Bipolar Disorder
Substance abuse disorders are another qualifying condition that has become more common. The effects of the opioid epidemic can clearly be seen in reports from the SSA. Many states with the highest percentage of workers who receive disability benefits also have the highest rates of drug overdose deaths.
Circulatory System Conditions
Circulatory system problems are also eligible for the disability programs. Conditions that affect the heart often come with a number of debilitating side effects. Cardiovascular impairment can also make physical activity difficult or even dangerous.
Chronic heart failure is a common circulatory system condition. Benefits are also awarded to those who have myocardial ischemia, syncope, central cyanosis, vein disorders and artery disorders.
Sense Organ Disability
A sense organ disability is a condition that impairs one or more senses. The most common conditions are:
- Vision Loss
- Hearing Loss
- Loss of Speech
While those are three of the conditions covered, there are many more that may qualify and total loss is not always necessary.
Nervous System Conditions
A number of nervous system conditions are eligible for SSDI and SSI benefits. Some ailments make it difficult for people to concentrate and carry out cognitive tasks. Others like multiple sclerosis (MS) cause severe pain and fatigue.
Often these types of condition only qualify when they are advanced and producing significant side effects.
Some types of cancer also qualify for disability benefits. All cancers that are considered malignant neoplastic diseases fall into this category. When a person with cancer applies for benefits four things are considered:
- The origin of the cancer
- How widespread the cancer is
- How aggressive the cancer is and response to anticancer therapy
- Side effects of cancer treatment
Cancer patients need a lot of medical documentation to file an application. The analysts reviewing the application will want detailed information from the pathology report and documents on all treatments received to date.