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How do I know if my disability qualifies me for benefits?

Social Security is for more than just retirement planning. Thousands of Americans with temporary or permanent disability use benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to make life with disabilities or recovery from them easier.

Since no two injuries are identical, every case is unique. If a disability claim requires an appeal or extra evidence to support it, legal representation may be helpful for claimants. No one should be denied disability benefits to get their lives in order.

How do I know if an ailment qualifies under Social Security?

The SSA keeps a "Listing of Medical Impairments" which would qualify a person to receive disability insurance payments. This list is also often known as the "blue book." If the diagnostic criteria for certain conditions are met, a person is eligible for benefits.

What kind of conditions are generally covered by those guidelines?

Disorders that affect any major body system, including musculoskeletal, respiratory, circulatory, sensory, neurological or mental, are covered by the Listing of Medical Impairments for people over the age of 18. Growth impairment may qualify minor children for benefits.

What if my ailment is not on the list?

It is possible a disease, injury or other disability may qualify for benefits even if it is not on the list. The SSA maintains other guidelines for analyzing the severity of a condition or other diagnostic indicators of a disability. An attorney may help determine these guidelines as they apply.

How do I demonstrate an eligible disability?

Clinical reports must be available regarding the illness or injury, and it must provably inhibit a person's ability to work or function. A physician's examination or medical test results may also be required by a claims examiner.

Source: FindLaw, "Medical Conditions that Qualify You for Disability Claims," accessed Feb. 23, 2018

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