The Social Security Administration (SSA) captures comprehensive data on disability claims, including the most common medical conditions associated with approved disability claims. Knowing which medical conditions are commonly approved is a helpful way to determine if you have a legitimate claim.
Before we begin, we’d like to remind you that there are many reasons a disability claim may or may not be approved. We always recommend you take advantage of the free consultations most disability lawyers provide and seek professional counsel on your claim.
Common Medical Conditions Approved for Disability
The SSA maintains a list of medical impairments that qualify for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. The largest category of diagnoses among disabled claimants receiving benefits was diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue.
These disabilities represented nearly a third of all diagnoses. Disabilities to the musculoskeletal system include a broad category of illnesses that damage a person’s muscles, connective tissue or nervous system. Some of the most common disabilities in this category include:
- Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is an umbrella term and syndrome that creates pain and discomfort throughout a person’s connective tissues, muscles and soft tissue.
- Generalized Back Pain: Most often, claims approved in this category are related to individuals suffering from degenerative disc disease, ruptured discs or severe scoliosis.
- Arthritis: While many of us know and live with minor arthritis, individuals receiving disability benefits typically suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder that results in severe inflammation of your body’s synovial fluid. This inflammation erodes and degrades joints over time, causing severe pain and deformity.
Common Mental Health Conditions Approved For Disability
The second largest category of diagnoses approved for disability is mental health impairments. Nearly 20% of individuals receiving disability benefits suffer from a qualifying mental health impairment.
Some of the most commonly known disabilities in this category include:
- Anxiety and Depression: To qualify for disability benefits, individuals suffering from anxiety or depression must demonstrate that the disorder is severe and significant. To qualify, the SSA will review their medical evidence to determine if their condition significantly impairs their communication with others, their ability to self-regulate and to follow basic direction at work.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a subset of an anxiety diagnosis and often includes severe panic attacks and other disabling symptoms. Claimants with a solid track record of medical evidence and documentation of their symptoms are more likely to have a successful claim.
- Autism or Asperger’s: Often seen in children’s cases, Autism or Asperger’s with severe and well-documented impairments may qualify for disability benefits.
Does My Condition Qualify for Disability?
The above lists are not exhaustive. In addition to the above, individuals receiving SSDI benefits also often suffer from medical conditions such as cardiac disease, different types of cancers, and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease.
No matter which medical condition you suffer from, your impairments must meet the SSA’s strict definition of disability before benefits are awarded. In addition, there are various technical requirements you must meet that vary based on whether you are applying for the SSDI or the SSI program.
The best way to determine if you qualify for disability is to contact a local disability lawyer and ask for a free consultation. We represent claimants throughout North Carolina and would be happy to be of service.