Disabilities can be evident, like intellectual disabilities, or they can be inherited or acquired at any time in a person’s life.
Approximately 1.3 billion individuals, or about 1 in 6 people, live with a severe disability, making up around 15% of the world’s population.
But whenever most people think of disability, they imagine a wheelchair, yet there are so many forms of disabilities beyond mobility impairments.
What is a disability?
The Disabilities Act says that a disability is a physical or mental impairment that significantly restricts one or more major living activities.
According to the legal definition of “disability,” a person is considered disabled if they are unable to do a substantial gainful activity because of a medical or physical impairment or impairments that have lasted or are expected to last for at least 12 months.
Dr. Victoria Duvall says that a person is usually considered disabled if they can’t return to a full-time job and need medical care for their condition, such as help with living on their own and being involved in the community.
The US Social Security Administration keeps a disability listing handbook called the “Blue Book.” It has a list of more than 100 physical and mental conditions that qualify for disability if certain conditions are met.
Suppose your medical condition or its equivalent is included in the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments. In that case, you are generally considered disabled and can qualify for disability benefits provided by the US government, which pays compensation to disabled individuals who cannot work.
Listing of impairments
This book has almost 14 groups of medical conditions that make it hard for children and older people to do things. Within each category are specific diseases, illnesses, and disorders that apply to adults aged 18 and older. They are briefly mentioned below,
- Musculoskeletal system disorders
The musculoskeletal system includes bones, ligaments, cartilage, and connective tissues. Damage to one’s nerves, muscles, tendons, or ligaments accounted for 32.3 percent of the diagnosis. This network keeps your bones mobile.
It can include conditions like fibromyalgia, back pain, chronic pain, and other skeletal spinal disorders such as degenerative disc disease.
Arthritis and other musculoskeletal system impairments account for most Social Security disability benefits awarded.
- Special senses and speech
Acknowledges the changes or impairments in sense organs disorders. It may encompass the following conditions:
- Loss of speech
- Decreased visual efficiency, clarity, and narrowing of visual fields.
- Hearing loss with or without cochlear implants.
- Respiratory disorders
If your breathing problem is severe enough, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, which will allow you to get the treatment and assistance you need financially while you recover from your condition.
Asthma, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, chronic emphysema, and lung transplant are all medical conditions that fall into this category.
- Cardiovascular and circulatory disorders
The cardiovascular system comprises the heart, capillaries, and veins. Several conditions, such as arrhythmia, high blood pressure, congenital heart disease, stroke, and heart failure, can affect the cardiovascular system.
The Social Security Administration estimates that 10% of approved benefit applicants have cardiovascular disease.
- Digestive system disorders
Disorders of the digestive system include gastrointestinal bleeding, liver malfunctioning, inflammatory bowel disease, short bowel syndrome, and malnutrition.
Other complications, such as blockage, or symptoms in other body functions, may also accompany them.
- Genitourinary disorders
The urinary tract and genital organs are directly affected by genitourinary disorders, which can be severe. In such circumstances, those affected may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance and health care coverage.
- Chronic Kidney diseases with and without dialysis.
- Hyperntnsive neuropathy.
- Kidney transplant.
- Hematological disorders
These disorders affect the normal growth and functioning of white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and clotting factor proteins.
Hemolytic anemias, disorders of thrombosis, and bone marrow failures are a few medical conditions that can be claimed for health care coverage.
Diseases of the skin that are caused by inherited, congenital, or acquired pathological processes can also be considered under SSI benefits.
Ichthyosis, bullous illnesses, chronic skin or mucous membrane infections, dermatitis, hereditary photosensitivity disorders, and burns are the impairments addressed in these entries.
- Endocrine disorders
The pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, and pancreatic glands are the primary glands of thyroid disease and the health conditions covered in this listing.
- Congenital Disorders
A congenital disease is a medical condition that affects a person from conception.
Although several illnesses qualify as “congenital disorders,” the Social Security Administration treats Down syndrome as synonymous with the term.
- Neurological disorders
Neurological disorders impact the brain, nervous system, and spinal cord and account for around 9.7% of total disability benefits.
Johns Hopkins Medicine lists the following as examples of disorders of the nervous system:
- Infectious diseases such as meningitis and polio
- Functional disorders such as epilepsy and neuralgia
- Multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease are degenerative conditions.
- Disorders of the structure, such as Bell’s palsy and brain or spinal cord injuries.
- Mental Disorders
The Social Security Administration reports that people with mental disorders account for roughly 20% of the disabled who get disability benefits.
Such conditions include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain injuries.
Although other mood disorders may not appear to interfere with a person’s physical job-related abilities, they might also generate debilitating symptoms.
Mood disorders qualifying for disability payments of almost 4%, according to data, include the following:
- Bipolar disorder
- Major depressive disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Depression related to mental illness
Brain function loss, confusion, and memory loss are among the symptoms.
Tumors are abnormal growths that afflict 2.8% of disability benefit recipients.
The following malignancies account for the majority of disability claims:
- Multiple myeloma
- Skin disease
- Ovarian or cervical cancer
- Thyroid carcinoma
- Cancer of connective tissue
- Lung tumor
- Intestinal cancer
- Esophageal, stomach, and pancreatic cancer
- Immune system disorders
They are characterized by abnormalities in immunological function caused by various reasons. Immune system problems can severely hinder a single organ or system.
Connective tissue disorders, like scleroderma, lupus, and other medical conditions like HIV and inflammatory arthritis, are among examples.
If you have one of the following medical conditions, you may automatically qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Those who are disabled may qualify for assistance from the government in the form of disability benefits, depending on their specific situation.
In this video, lawyer Sharon Christie explains what conditions automatically qualify you to gain disability benefits.
Accessing Disability Benefits: The Procedures Involved
John Scallan, a software engineer with a neurological condition, shares his experience obtaining social security benefits with the case by suggesting legal advice. He says that one should contact a social security disability attorney. One will receive a court date at the local social security office. One judge and two doctors will be present in the courtroom. All these experts will have reviewed the papers and work history that your social security disability lawyer gave them to support your case. The judge will ask you a few questions before sending you home. In around two weeks, you will receive their verdict.
Diane McLure, a former retired benefits manager, says on a forum that one should read the details online on social security’s website to learn about the application procedure and its benefits. Then you must present credible medical evidence of your disability and prognosis to qualify for disability benefits. Depending on the degree of your condition, the procedure might take some time to complete. If you are rejected, you must file an appeal until an administrative law judge considers you.
Criteria for Qualifying
While there are conditions under which you may automatically qualify for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration does not always grant these requests.
Provide detailed medical records to the SSA to prove that your condition meets the criteria for disability.
You must follow certain conditions, such as working in the United States, which is a prerequisite for receiving Social Security disability benefits.
You also need to be dealing with a health condition that is considered to be disabling by social security. Furthermore, you should anticipate being unemployed for at least a year, as proven by a work history document.
Typically, the requisite medical information and evidence comprise:
- Medical evaluation
- Clinical notes or reports
- MRI CAT scan X-rays
- Mental health documents
- Blood work panel
In this video, the disability lawyer and Board-Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability, Scott Scurfield, show how the Social Security Administration’s 5-step sequential analysis can be used to determine if someone is eligible for disability benefits.
In addition, even after acceptance, you may be required to keep the insurance company, and SSA apprised of any changes in your medical condition.
Even if your condition is not included in the Blue Book, or if it is listed but you don’t meet the specific medical standards, you may still be eligible for SSDI or SSI to get disability benefits.
However, you’ll need to convince Social Security that your disability requirements are just as debilitating as those described in the manual.
This video explains all about how to get approved for disability and SSI benefits from a registered nurse Patricia. She explains the types, documents required, medical records, and do’s and dont’s in a single video.
Before You Go
An unexpected accident or a disability can permanently alter a person’s ability and life. They may be unable to work as effectively as before, or they may be unable to work at all. But that doesn’t make it the end of the world. A better understanding of your condition makes it easier to cope.