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What medical conditions qualify for SSDI benefits?

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Social Security Disability |

Most medical challenges that affect working adults are minor and/or temporary. People improve with treatment or time away from their work. Other medical conditions are more severe. They may worsen as time progresses. They may not respond to treatment or may be fatal.

In scenarios where people cannot work because of their medical conditions, disability benefits could be helpful. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are often the last line of defense for those with disabling medical conditions. When does a medical issue potentially qualify for SSDI benefits?

When someone cannot work

The main qualifying factor for SSDI benefits is an inability to maintain gainful employment. Those with medical challenges so severe that they cannot work any job could potentially qualify for SSDI benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) does provide a list of conditions that could qualify someone for benefits. However, having a condition on that list does not automatically mean someone receives benefits. Additionally, people can qualify with disabling conditions not specifically listed by the SSA.

Proper medical evidence affirming the severity of someone’s condition and the symptoms they experience is crucial to a successful claim. Applicants also typically need evidence proving that their condition is either terminal or should last for 12 months or longer. Shorter-term medical issues that cause total disability may not be eligible for benefits. Some conditions can qualify in certain scenarios but not in others. Cancer, for example, can be a debilitating condition on its own. The treatment required can also keep someone from maintaining gainful employment. However, if the patient goes into remission in under a year, they are unlikely to qualify for SSDI benefits.

Someone facing a terminal cancer diagnosis, on the other hand, could be eligible for fast-track benefits approval because of their health issues. It is, therefore, crucial that anyone applying for SSDI benefits have adequate medical records supporting their claim that they qualify. The evidence they have must show that their condition prevents them from working altogether and should last for at least a year, if not substantially longer.

Reviewing medical records and work limitations with a skilled legal team can help someone determine whether they may qualify for SSDI benefits. Those who apply and who appeal can theoretically receive support when they cannot work due to health issues.