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Does My Medical Condition Qualify Me for Social Security Disability Benefits?

September 9th, 2015 Social Security Disability
qualifying for social security disability benefits

Social Security Disability benefits provide you with a way to have a steady source of income to cover living expenses when you are unable to work. Keep in mind that not every medical impairment is considered a qualifying condition for these benefits. Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits depends on your condition, its severity, and the impact it has on your working ability. While some common conditions such as adult diabetes are not listed among the qualifying conditions for these benefits, you might still qualify based on whether or not you have any complications and how severe your condition is.

The following represent the types of medical conditions that commonly qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. If you have one of these conditions, consider hiring an Arkansas Social Security attorney to help you with the application process.

Autoimmune Disorders

This type of medical disorder, which causes the body’s immune system to attack healthy tissue and organs, includes lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Advanced autoimmune disorders typically qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

Cardiovascular Disorders

Heart failure, coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure can impair your ability to work, especially if you perform manual labor.

Digestive Disorders

Complications from digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, liver disease, hepatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, gout, and ulcerative colitis might help you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an illness that can cause serious and disabling complications, which can make it virtually impossible to perform normal work activities.

Endocrine System Disorders

Nerve damage, such as neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy, can severely limit your ability to move. If you have diabetes, keep in mind that peripheral neuropathy is a common complication associated with this disease.

Kidney and Bladder Disorders

Kidney failure is typically considered a qualifying condition, especially for those on dialysis. Interstitial cystitis, which causes bladder inflammation, can be considered a qualifying condition if it prevents you from doing your job.

Mental Disorders

Mental disorders that cause serious impairments that restrict your ability to hold a steady job—such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder—qualify for benefits in some cases.

Chronic Conditions

Social Security Disability sometimes covers chronic joint or muscle pain and chronic migraines, although these conditions can be difficult to quality for.

Musculoskeletal Impairments

Disorders that affect the bones, joints, or tissues, such as arthritis, scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, and spinal disorders, might qualify if the disorder causes chronic or severe pain that interferes with your job performance.

Neurological Disorders

Disorders that affect brain function, including seizure disorders, stroke, and traumatic brain injury, can be considered qualifying conditions if they interfere with your ability to perform your usual duties and tasks at work.

Hearing and Vision Impairments

Vision or hearing loss can qualify you for Social Security Disability if your impairment prevents you from doing your job.

Respiratory Disorders

Conditions that affect your respiratory system, such as asthma, emphysema, and COPD, can also affect your ability to do your job, especially if you work in an environment that aggravates your symptoms.


Not all types of cancer qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. In some cases, it depends on how far the cancer has progressed. Those with certain types of advanced stage cancers, such as adrenal cancer, brain cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer, can automatically qualify for benefits. Most cases of leukemia also qualify.

To help you determine if your medical condition qualifies you for Social Security Disability benefits, review the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. The Blue Book contains an overview of the impairments that quality you and how the application process works.

The application and approval process is long and complex, especially if you need to appeal your application. If you are currently unable to work because of your medical condition, working with an attorney experienced in the field of Social Security Disability gives you the best chance of getting the benefits you need.

To learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits, please contact an Arkansas Social Security attorney at Nolan Caddell Reynolds by calling 866-242-0452.

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