It was never your plan to stop working before retirement. You’ve worked hard your entire life, but an unexpected medical condition keeps you from working now. Should you apply for SSDI benefits? The Social Security Administration has an updated list of medical conditions that are considered severe enough to prevent a person from working. So, what are the SSDI qualifying conditions? 

Conditions that Qualify Under SSDI

The Social Security Administration has a list of impairments for each major body system that may support an individual’s qualification for SSDI. These conditions are considered severe enough to prevent a person from having gainful employment to support themselves or their family. Many of the conditions listed are either permanent, have a specific duration, or are progressive illnesses. For all other listings, there must be evidence to support the condition is severe and will last for a period of at least 12 continuous months. 

SSDI Qualifying Conditions for Adults 18 and Over

Part A of the Listing of Impairments from the Social Security Administration covers adults that are 18 or older. The conditions include disorders affecting:

  • The Musculoskeletal System: These may result from hereditary, congenital, or acquired pathological processes as a result of inflammatory, infections, traumatic or developmental events or degenerative processes. 
  • Special Senses and Speech: This can include visual disorders such as blindness and requires measuring an individual’s visual fields. 
  • Respiratory Disorders: This can include disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumoconiosis, asthma, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, chronic pulmonary hypertension, and lung transplantation. 
  •  Cardiovascular System: Impairment in this category may result from chronic heart failure or ventricular dysfunction, discomfort or pain due to myocardial ischemia, syncope or near syncope, or central cyanosis. 
  • Digestive System: Disorders can include liver dysfunction, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, short bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and malnutrition. 
  • Genitourinary Disorders: Examples can consist of chronic glomerulonephritis, hypertensive nephropathy, diabetic nephropathy, chronic obstructive uropathy, and hereditary nephropathies.
  • Hematological Disorders: Includes disorders that disrupt the normal development and function of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and clotting-factor proteins such as bone marrow failure, disorders of thrombosis and hemostasis, and hemolytic anemia. 
  • Skin Disorders: These may include disorders affecting the skin such as ichthyosis, bullous diseases, hidradenitis suppurativa, chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, burns, dermatitis, and genetic photosensitivity disorders.
  • Endocrine Disorders: This can include disorders affecting the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, adrenal gland, pancreatic gland, and more. 
  • Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems: This included non-mosaic Down syndrome.
  • Neurological Disorders: This can include epilepsy, amyotrophic sclerosis, coma or persistent vegetative states, or early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Mental Disorders: There are 11 categories of mental disorders including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, neurodevelopmental disorders, and more. 
  • Cancer: This includes all cancers, except for certain cancers associated with an HIV infection. 
  • Immune System: Include immune dysfunction due to impaired cell-mediated immunity, issues with antibody production, and more. 

Visit the SSA website to see the full description of each disorder.

SSDI Qualifying Conditions for Children Under 18

Part B of the Listing of Impairments from the Social Security Administration covers children under 18 years old. The conditions included are:

  • Low Birth Weight and Failure to Thrive: Low birth weight is evaluated in children from birth to age 1 and failure to thrive from birth to age 3. 
  • Musculoskeletal System: Defined as the inability to ambulate effectively or perform fine and gross movements effectively.
  • Special Senses and Speech: Visual disorders, including blindness.
  • Respiratory Disorders: Includes chronic lung disease of infancy, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, or cystic fibrosis. 
  • Cardiovascular System: Impairment in this category may result from chronic heart failure or ventricular dysfunction, discomfort or pain due to myocardial ischemia, syncope or near syncope, or central cyanosis. 
  • Digestive System: Disorders can include liver dysfunction, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, short bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and malnutrition. 
  • Genitourinary Disorders: Includes diabetic neuropathy, hypertensive neuropathy, chronic glomerulonephritis, chronic obstructive uropathy, and hereditary nephropathies. 
  • Hematological Disorders: Includes disorders that disrupt the normal development and function of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and clotting-factor proteins such as bone marrow failure, disorders of thrombosis and hemostasis, and hemolytic anemia. 
  • Skin Disorders: Impairments under this category can include dermatitis, hidradenitis, ichthyosis, suppurativa, burns, genetic photosensitivity disorders, or infections of the skin or mucous membranes.
  • Endocrine Disorders: This can include disorders affecting the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, adrenal gland, pancreatic gland, and more.
  • Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems: Includes non-mosaic Down syndromes.
  • Neurological Disorders: Includes epilepsy, coma, or persistent vegetative states as well as neurological disorders that cause bulbar and neuromuscular dysfunction, disorganization of motor function, or communication impairment. 
  • Mental Disorders: Can include intellectual disorders, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders, developmental disorders in infants and toddlers, autism spectrum disorders, and more. 
  • Cancer: All cancers are evaluated except for those associated with an HIV infection. 
  • Immune System Disorders: Include immune dysfunction due to impaired cell-mediated immunity, issues with antibody production, and more. 

Visit the SSA website to see the full description of each disorder.

Ready to Apply for SSDI Benefits?

There are other factors that are considered when the Social Security Administration determines whether you qualify for SSDI benefits. If you think you may be eligible for SSDI, the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill can help. Having practiced disability law for more than 30 years, we are experienced lawyers for social security disability – ready to assist you with every step of the application process. If you were previously denied SSDI benefits, our experienced attorneys can also help you with the appeal process. Contact us today for a free consultation

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