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What Disabilities Qualify For SSD?

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2022 | Social Security Disability

Over 10 million people receive Social Security benefits based on disability as per the Social Security Administration (SSA). Disability is legally defined as a condition that renders an individual unable to perform substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental impairment. The impairment should be expected to continue for a minimum of 12 months or until death.

A list of impairments is maintained by the SSA regarding conditions that are so severe as to automatically qualify for disability benefits if other requirements are met. These conditions are listed in the Blue Book of SSA. Medical evidence required for proving the impairment is described in the Blue Book as well.

These are a few of the conditions that can qualify for disability benefits:

Musculoskeletal System and Connective Tissue

Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue are among the largest category of diagnoses among individuals receiving disability benefits. Examples include:


Individuals diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis must experience significant limitations on their ability to work to qualify for benefits. Rheumatoid arthritis is also known as connective tissue disorder.

Spinal issues and back pain

Abnormal curvature of the spine because of spinal disorders, ruptured disc, or degenerative disc disease can affect your ability to walk and perform other functions. The intensity of back pain and restrictions on the ability to function is considered within disability diagnosis.


This is a complex syndrome in which the person suffers widespread pain in the tendons, joints, soft tissues, and muscles for more than three months. Claim reviewers will assess whether the condition is severe enough to limit your ability to perform gainful work.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)

RSD includes a range of symptoms that may occur from surgery, injury, or diseases. It’s characterized by aching pain or intense burning that is caused by trauma to an extremity.

Mental Disorders

Individuals with qualifying mental disorders account for 20% of disability benefits awarded. Mental disorders are grouped by the Social Security Administration into broad categories. This includes:

Mood disorders

Depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are categorized under mood disorders. Mood disorders must be severe enough to limit an individual’s ability to assess and apply information, concentrate, have social interactions, and perform normal activities to qualify for disability.

Psychotic disorders

Medical documentation and related evidence will be required by the disability claims reviewers for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

Organic mental disorder

Organic brain syndrome or organic mental disorder varies with the particular disorder. Disability benefits typically involve doctor’s documentation that states the individual has shown one or more symptoms, such as loss of cognitive ability, confusion, and memory loss.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

This is a type of anxiety disorder in which the person has a disabling mood disorder. Commonly known as PTSD, it typically occurs when an individual has experienced or witnessed an extremely traumatic event.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders may qualify for benefits if they have documented deficits in social interaction and communication, as well as limitations in the ability to apply information, understand and interact with others.

Cardiac and Circulatory Disorders

An estimated 10% of claimants suffer circulatory disorders and are awarded benefits per the SSA.


Angina is a common cardiac disorder. Chest pain by itself doesn’t support a determination of disability.

Hypertension/high blood pressure

High blood pressure can damage other body systems if not properly managed. It can result in stroke, heart disease, and other cardiovascular complications.

Coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease occurs when coronary arteries narrow because of a build-up of plaque. This causes reduced oxygen and blood supply to the heart.

Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)

Arrhythmias that start in the heart’s lower chambers are the most serious. The claims assessor will look at medical evidence to grant disability.

Congenital heart defects

Individuals that undergo surgery for acquired heart disease or congenital heart defect can qualify for disability benefits only after 12 months of the surgical treatment.

Neoplasms (Cancer)

Neoplasms or cancerous growths are abnormal masses of tissues. They are also called tumors. Mesothelioma and lung cancer are commonly reported by workers. In 2011, 9.2% of Social Security disability benefits were awarded to individuals with neoplasms.

Nervous System and Sense Organs

These are a few examples of neurological disorders:

Parkinson’s Disease

You may qualify for disability benefits if you have been diagnosed with Parkinsonian syndrome or Parkinson’s Disease.


This refers to chronic pain in various parts of the face because of trigeminal neuralgia. It’s described as sudden and excruciating pain and can be difficult to diagnose.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

CFS, also known as Mylagic Encephalomyelitis, varies in severity and duration. You may be able to claim disability benefits by providing a diagnosis of CFS / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis accompanied by appropriate medical evidence.


There are special disability rules for the blind or people with limited vision. SSA considers an individual to be blind when their vision cannot be corrected to more than 20/200.

Hearing loss

Individuals that are profoundly deaf may also qualify for disability benefits.

Dedicated SSD Benefits Lawyers in Mississippi are Here to Help You

You may be deemed disabled even if you don’t have a listed impairment. You would need to provide evidence to establish that your medical condition keeps you from working. The skilled and compassionate SSD benefits attorneys at the Pearson Law Firm will work hard to get you the benefits you rightfully deserve. To request a free and confidential consultation, call us at 662-793-1697 or complete this online form.