Social Security Disability benefits are no one's "fix-all" if they are suffering from a physical or mental disability. However, SSD benefits may help the disabled person and his or her family battle the stresses associated with a disability and could result in getting necessary medical care under Medicare.
But who is entitled to receive Social Security Disability benefits? To be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, a person must have an impairment, either medical, psychological, or psychiatric in nature and that impairment must be severe enough that it prevents a disabled individual from working, or, if they continue to work, prevents the person from earning substantial money. Lastly, the impairment must last at least twelve calendar months, or be projected to last that long.
Some conditions that may qualify for SSD benefits (as long as the other prongs of the test are met) include:
- Musculoskeletal problems including fractures, poorly healed bone breaks, soft tissue injuries, spinal arachnoiditis, arthritis, osteoarthrtis, rheumatoid arthritis, hip, neck, shoulder, ankle, wrist, back, or other joint problems, disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, RSI or repetitive stress injury.
- Conditions for which the etiology is unclear such as fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue
- Mental conditions, mental illness, and mental disorders including borderline intellectual functioning, low IQ, mental retardation, learning disability, personality disorder, schizo-affective disorder, schizophrenia, somatoform disorder, autism, asperger's syndrome, down syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), memory loss, nerves
- Endocrine related problems including diabetes (type I diabetes, type II diabetes), diabetic peripheral neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, diabetes related kidney nephropathy, thyroid problems including hypothyroid disorder, hyperthyroid disorder.
- Autoimmune disorders including MS (multiple sclerosis), autoimmune hepatitis, type I diabetes (an autoimmune condition), ankylosing spondylosis, coeliac disease, endometriosis, Addison’s disease, grave's disease, narcolepsy, lupus, interstitial cystitis, sjogren's syndrome, vasculitis, vitiligo, wegner's granulomatosis, polymyositis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
- Cardiovascular related conditions such as heart attack (heart attacks are gauged according to how they resolve three months post), arrhythmia (including tachycardia, bradycardia and murmur), ischemic coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure (termed by social security as "chronic" heart failure), cardio hypertrophy (enlargement of the heart), cardiomyopathy, heart valve disease, congenital heart defect, blocked artery, cyanosis, syncope, peripheral artery disease (a.k.a peripheral vascular disease), chest pain (angina), cardiovascular disease related to high blood pressure, chronic venous insufficiency, aortic aneurysm (possibly involving renal kidney failure)
- Neurological conditions such as stroke, coordination, strength, and speech deficits resulting from strokes, epilepsy a.k.a. seizure disorder (including petite mal seizures and grand mal seizures), Lyme disease, TBI or traumatic brain injury, brain tumor, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease), myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral trauma (head injury), migraines, cluster headaches.
- Digestive system impairments including Wilson’s disease, GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease), peptic ulcer, esophageal varices, ascites, ulcerative colitis, regional enteritis, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, liver disease, pancreatitis, crohn's disease.
- Genito-urinary impairments such as kidney disease, kidney problems, dialysis, kidney transplant, nephritic syndrome, ESRD or end stage renal disease
- Mood related disorders including bipolar disorder (previously known as manic depression and termed by the social security administration as bipolar syndrome, a subset of mood disorders) and depression in all its various forms, such as mild depression, major depression, and dysthymia.
- Anxiety related disorders including PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and panic attacks.
- Vision related problems such as low vision, poor peripheral vision (contraction of peripheral fields), decreased visual acuity, macular degeneration, statutory blindness, loss of visual efficiency, and diabetic retinopathy.
- Hearing and speech impairments including hearing not restorable by a hearing aid, inner ear problems (vertigo, Meniere’s disease), and loss of speech.
- Respiratory impairments including COPD, emphysema, asthma and asthma attacks, bronchitis, pneumothorax, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary vasculitis, cystic fibrosis, sleep apnea, cor pulmonale, pneumoconiosis, bronchiectasis, pneumonia, sarcoidosis
- Hemic and lymphatic problems including lymphedema, chronic anemia, sickle cell disease, polycythemia, lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, aplastic anemia
- Skin disorders such as exfoliative dermatitis, hidradentitis supparativa, psoriasis, exema, and pemphigus
- HIV and AIDS
- Neoplastic disorders such as cancer of the throat, cancer of the larynx, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer, skin cancer, cancer of the thyroid, Hodgkin’s disease, sarcoma, malignant melanoma, lung cancer, cancer of the stomach or esophagus, prostate cancer, intestinal cancer, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, testicular and uterine cancer.
If you or a loved one is battling any of the above-listed conditions and that condition is preventing you from working, you should consult with a Social Security attorney to further understand your rights. For a free case consultation with Attorney Matthew Noyes, simply click here. Attorney Noyes' Tampa Bay law firm--Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes--has been caring for clients since 1955. Call or email us today.