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Common disabilities and conditions that qualify for SSDI benefits

As per the Center for Disease Control, about 26 percent of adults in the US are diagnosed with some form of disability. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program focuses on aiding the medically impaired populace of the United States. SSDI benefits paid in 2020 by the Social Security Administration (SSA) amounted to over $144 billion. This program offers much-needed assistance to face the challenges of life-altering medical conditions and injuries. If you are wondering which type of disabilities qualify for SSDI, this article will guide you in the right direction.  

Below we have a breakdown of helpful information:

What do you mean by the SSDI program?

Social Security Disability Insurance is a federally-operated income benefits program. Through SSDI, the Social Security Administration is able to provide helpful assistance to workers who have become unable to support themselves as a result of a severe illness or injury. This program is a payroll tax-funded program operated by the United States federal government. 

What are the SSDI qualifying criteria?

Eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance is determined by the following:

  • Firstly, the individual should be an American citizen in order to be eligible for SSDI
  • Secondly, the individual's medical condition has prevented them from participating in any Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). The threshold for Substantial Gainful Activity is based on the amount of wages they can earn. As of 2023, if one's average monthly earnings are more than $1,470 ($2,460 for blind individuals), they usually cannot be considered to have a qualifying disability. However please do get in touch with a member of the Advocates team to double check, in the event the law and regulations surrounding this topic have changed
  • Further, due to their disability, the individual applying for SSDI is more likely to be approved if they are unable to perform their prior work duties in order to earn their income. If you’re unsure on what defines “unable” please contact a member of the team
  • The medical condition the individual is suffering from must be either permanent or expected to last for a minimum of 12 months
  • In the past, during their employment, the individual should have accrued sufficient work credits as required by the SSA. Work credits vary according to an individual's age and duration of employment. They must have worked in an employment position that pays Social Security taxes for at least 5 out of the previous 10 years

It is necessary to note that the surviving spouses and children might also be eligible for benefits under the program, subject to required conditions and the individual's circumstances. Also, the criterion for the employment duration of 5 out of the past 10 years is not a mandatory qualification for younger adults. If you are unsure on any of these regulations, get in touch with a member of the Advocate team and we’ll go through your employment history to verify your eligibility.

Which types of medical conditions and disabilities get covered under the SSDI program?

Only individuals who are disabled or medically impaired as per the standards specified by the Social Security Administration will be eligible  to apply for SSDI benefits. SSA has a separate "blue book" of impairments and medical listings that mention conditions that hold eligibility for the program. The book covers the different types of disabilities and health impairments that include:

  1. Physical Disabilities- This form of disability covers conditions like paralysis, amputations, and musculoskeletal disorders
  2. Mental Disorders- Mental conditions such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia are covered under this category
  3. Cardiovascular Diseases- Individuals with issues such as heart disease, congestive heart failure, and stroke fall under this type of condition
  4. Neurological Disorders- Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy are instances of neurological disorders specified in the blue book
  5. Respiratory Ailments- This category comprises conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as cystic fibrosis
  6. Immune System Disorders- Immune system disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV/AIDS are covered by the blue book 
  7. Cancer- Cancer conditions like Lymphoma, Leukemia, and Carcinoma are eligible, subject to certain conditions 

People with medical issues not explicitly stated in SSA's blue book can also be eligible for SSDI benefits, with certain criteria:

  • They can demonstrate that their condition is medically determinable and meets the SSA's definition of disability.
  • They can provide additional evidence, such as medical records, laboratory test results, and statements from treating physicians, to support their claim for benefits. 

If you’re unsure if your condition qualifies but it is a large hindrance to your ability to remain currently employed or provide income to the same or equal capacity as before, please contact a member of the Avocate team and we’ll have one of our experts go through the claims process with you. 

The average monthly SSDI assistance in 2023 will go up to $2,460! Discover if you are eligible!

Over 50% of applications for the SSDI program are denied initially. It is best to hire an experienced  representative who can offer comprehensive support throughout the application and approval process. Fill out our free Evaluation Form to check your eligibility! Streamline your SSDI application hassles. 

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