You finally had to face the fact that your disability may keep you from working for a significant amount of time, and it may even prevent you from every working again. Your financial situation has taken a hit, and you wonder whether you can qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
The Social Security Administration denies many applications for SSDI benefits. Part of the reason for so many denials may be due to the complexities of determining whether a certain condition qualifies for benefits.
Does your disability fall into one of the SSA's categories?
The SSA has several different categories of disabilities. Yours may fall into one of these categories easily, or you may need to do more research to determine the right category. Those categories include the following:
- Respiratory illnesses such as cystic fibrosis or asthma
- Immune system disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or kidney disease
- Musculoskeletal problems such as dysfunctions of the bones or joints and back conditions
- Mental disorders such as anxiety, depression or autism
- Speech and senses issues such as hearing or vision loss
- Blood disorders such as hemophilia or sickle cell disease
- Cardiovascular conditions such as coronary artery disease or chronic heart failure
- Neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease
- Digestive tract issues such as inflammatory bowel disease or liver disease
As you can see, any number of medical or mental conditions could fall into these categories. The examples are just that -- examples. Even if it appears as though your condition doesn't fit into one of these categories, don't lose hope. You may still apply for benefits. You will just need to provide clinical reports attesting to the medical validity of your condition.
Showing the SSA your disability
Everyone who applies needs to provide the SSA with evidence proving his or her condition and need. The agency looks for the following types of evidence:
- Blood work panels
- Physician examinations
- Mental health records
- CAT scan
- Treatment reports or notes
You will need to provide these types of documentation from the time you received your first diagnosis to the present. The more information you provide, the better your chances may be. The SSA will want to know that your condition continues to keep you from working, but it also wants to know the history of your condition, along with its severity. You will only receive benefits once the SSA understands the debilitating nature of your condition.