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Disabilities Covered by Social Security Disability Benefits

Published on February 14th, 2022

Does your disability qualify for Social Security disability benefits? Disability benefits are awarded to those who can no longer take care of themselves or the type of work they used to do. While this article will discuss what social security disability benefits cover disabilities, it is best to consult a reliable veteran disability attorney in Portland to get more information.

What is the concept of disability?

According to the legal definition of “disability,” a person is deemed handicapped if they cannot do any significant gainful activity due to a medical or physical impairment or impairments.

Individuals with disabilities are defined as “any person who has physical or mental disability significantly restricts one or more of such person’s primary life activities; medical records of such impairment, or is perceived as having such impairment” (ADA 29 CFR 1630.2).

What are Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?

disabilities covered by social security

The Disability Benefits under Social Security are publicly financed and managed by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA). Social Security gives disability payments to you and some members of your family if you have worked long enough and have a physical condition that keeps you from working for at least 12 months or is predicted to result in death. According to studies, a 20-year-old worker has a one-in-four probability of being incapacitated before reaching full retirement age.

So, when you or a loved one’s been diagnosed with a covered disability, it’s best to discuss with an attorney who handles Social Security claims from the first filing through the appeal, if required.

Listed below are some of the impairments that qualify for SSDI.

What are Disabilities Covered By Social Security?

Disorders of the Musculoskeletal System

Muscles, bones, and joints are affected by musculoskeletal illnesses. To be eligible for benefits, the condition must produce “severe dysfunction,” however the disease itself may be caused by any source (such as hereditary, congenital, developmental events, repetitive trauma, etc.).

In this group are illnesses such as:

  • Disorders of the spine (degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, vertebral fracture, etc.)
  • Amputation
  • Significant fractures (such as to the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the tarsal bones)
  • Soft tissue damage (such as burns)

Disorders of the Special Senses and Speech

This group includes visual, speech, and hearing problems. Disorders that are eligible include:

  • Blindness
  • Loss of central visual acuity (vision in the better eye is 20/200 or below)
  • Speech impediment (due to any cause)
  • Hearing impairment (with and without implantation devices)

Respiratory Issues

Obstruction, restriction, or interference of air flowing into or out of the lungs, as well as deficits in gas exchange, are used to diagnose respiratory illnesses. This group also includes respiratory failure due to a prior respiratory illness, which resulted in lung transplantation.

The following respiratory diseases are eligible:

  • Asthma or chronic bronchitis
  • Disorders that are inherited (such as cystic fibrosis)
  • Chronic pulmonary hypertension (due to any cause)
  • Lung transplantation
  • Respiratory failure that necessitates long-term invasive or noninvasive mechanical ventilation

Disorders of the Cardiovascular System

This large area covers heart function and the circulatory system (arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymphatic drainage).

Disorders that are eligible include:

  • Chronic heart failure (Systolic and diastolic failures must be included to qualify)
  • Ischemia of the heart (reduced blood flow to the heart)
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Arrhythmias that reoccur (deviations from normal rhythm or beating of the heart)
  • Transplantation of the heart

Digestive System Disorders

This area covers gastrointestinal bleeding, liver dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), short bowel syndrome (SBS), and malnutrition. Depending on the ailment, documentation of these conditions requires particular medical proof such as imaging investigations or reports of endoscopy, surgeries, and pathology.

Among the digestive problems that are eligible are:

  • Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract (from any cause, but must require a blood transfusion)
  • Chronic liver disease or liver transplant?
  • IBD (inflammatory bowel illness)
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Weight loss caused by a digestive condition (BMI of less than 17.5 per cent)

Disorders of the Genitourinary System

The urinary and genital organs are referred to as genitourinary. Genitourinary system diseases may be asymptomatic or display various signs and symptoms. Again, particular paperwork or proof is necessary to fulfil the standards set by the Social Security Administration.

Among the genitourinary illnesses that are eligible are:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Kidney transplant
  • Nephrotic syndrome (kidney disorder)

Hematological Disorders

These illnesses interfere with the proper function of white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and the proteins involved in bleeding and clotting. Nonmalignant hematological illnesses are evaluated in this area; malignancies such as lymphoma and leukemia are recognized in the category of Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Disease).

This category includes diseases such as:

  • Hemolytic anemias (such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia)
  • Thrombosis and hemostasis
  • Failure of the bone marrow and transplant
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Complications of hematological disorders

Disorders of the Nervous System

Neurological illnesses damage the nervous system, which transmits and receives impulses throughout the brain and body. The “limitations stemming from the neurological illness itself” are reviewed; both medical and non-medical information is included in the assessment process.

In most situations, restrictions induced by a neurological illness must remain despite therapy or medication and result in a “disorganization of motor function” (the inability to stand, balance, or use the upper extremities like hands, fingers, or arms).

This category includes diseases such as:

  • Epilepsy
  • Brain tumors that are not malignant
  • Parkinsonian syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy is a kind of neurological condition
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Muscular dystrophy is a kind of muscular dystrophy.
  • TBI stands for traumatic brain damage (TBI)
  • Coma or prolonged vegetative state

Mental Illness

The population of recipients receiving Social Security Disability payments with mental problems is the highest.

There are presently 11 types of mental disorders:

  1. Psychotic disorders include delusions, hallucinations, and catatonia (such as schizophrenia)
  2. Depressive disorders include clinical depression, bipolar illness, and other mood-related diseases.
  3. Intellectual disorders: a major impairment in intellectual functioning, formerly described as “mental retardation.”
  4. Anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): encompasses social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder, agoraphobia, and other conditions.
  5. Somatic symptom disorder is characterized by intense concern over bodily sensations such as pain.
  6. Personality and impulse-control disorders are characterized by repeated, inflexible, and persistent behavior patterns that disrupt everyday life and activities (including paranoia, schizoid, dependency, etc.)
  7. Neurocognitive illnesses are degenerative conditions that produce severe declines in cognitive performance (e.g., dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington disease, and so on).
  8. Autism: the complete autism spectrum is included in this category.
  9. Neurodevelopmental disorders: These disorders often manifest during the developmental period and involve impairments in cognitive processing, visual perception, or memory (e.g., tic disorders like Tourette syndrome)
  10. Affective eating disorders (including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder)
  11. Stress- or trauma-related disorders: These disorders are produced by exposure to a very traumatic or stressful incident and may result in unsettling memories, nightmares, or flashbacks (such as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD)

Disability Benefits for Children

The SSI program allows children to obtain cash assistance for disability. Children’s eligibility requirements include financial benchmarks based on the income of the child’s parents or legal guardians and medical standards depending on the child’s handicap or impairment.

What are Social Security Disability Eligibility Requirements?

To be eligible for SSDI payments, you must also be declared handicapped. The Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates disability based on the following criteria:

  • You can no longer do your previous employment; and 
  • You are unable to perform alternative work owing to your medical condition; and 
  • Your handicap has lasted or is likely to persist for at least one year or end in your death.

The SSA maintains a Medically Approved List of Impairments. If your health condition is on the list, you may be immediately eligible for benefits. However, just because your impairment isn’t on the list doesn’t imply you’re not eligible for SSDI compensation.

If you do not qualify for SSDI benefits, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income payments (SSI). You must be disabled and fulfill rigorous asset and income requirements to be accepted.

Jackson & MacNichol can Help You With Your Social Security Disability Claim.

If you’re disabled and have worked a sufficient number of years, talking to an attorney might be the next step you’ll want to take. Having a local attorney representing you at your hearing will help ensure that your rights will be represented appropriately. Your veterans disability attorney can also provide you with valuable information about the types of accommodations that may be accessible to you.

Here at Jackson and MacNichol, we’re finding that many people are unaware that they may qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits. Whether your disability is due to mental issues, physical injuries or another issue altogether, you should talk with a legal attorney about your situation today. Consult our veteran disability law firm today!


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