When your disability or chronic medical condition makes it impossible for you to work, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits may represent your saving grace in terms of providing you with an income. As FindLaw explains, however, you must not only apply for SSDI, you also must qualify for it.
The Social Security Administration maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” that encompasses a lengthy list of qualifying impairments. If you have one of these, you qualify automatically for SSDI benefits. You will still need to apply, however, plus provide proof of your disability or condition.
Given the number of specific impairments on the list, it categorizes them as follows:
- Neurological conditions (Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
- Sensory impairment conditions (partial or total loss of vision, hearing, etc.)
- Respiratory conditions (asthma, cystic fibrosis, etc.)
- Immune system conditions (rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, lupus, HIV/AIDS, etc.)
- Cardiovascular conditions (heart failure, coronary artery disease, etc.)
- Mental conditions (autism, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, etc.)
When you apply for SSDI benefits, your application should include the following:
- Copies of your physical exam(s) that a qualified doctor performed
- Copies of the doctor’s treatment notes
- Copies of the results of any X-rays, MRIs and/or CT scans you have had
- Copies of the results of any blood work panels your doctor ordered
- Copies of all your mental health records
Should the SSA’s “Listing of Medical Impairments” fail to include your precise disability, condition or impairment, do not lose hope. You can still qualify for SSDI benefits if yours is a “medically determinable impairment” confirmed by clinical and laboratory tests.