What Medical Conditions Qualify for Social Security Disability?
If you are disabled and are thinking of filing for Social Security disability, it is important that you have an experienced Toledo, Ohio SSD attorney by your side to understand how you may qualify for Social Security Disability. Obtaining Social Security disability can be a complex process, requiring legal assistance. An attorney from Schaffer & Associates, LPA can help you navigate the SSD process in the least stressful manner possible and with a much better chance of a positive outcome.
What is Social Security Disability?
The original OASDI (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) that began in 1935 contained no provisions for disability insurance. It was not until 20 years later that the “D” in OASDI was implemented by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Initially, the program only provided disability benefits to those between 50 and 65 who met certain requirements. Later, the coverage was significantly expanded, and as of 2006 SSD was paying benefits to more than 8 million disabled individuals and their dependents.
The introduction of Social Security disability benefits met significant resistance, however, the majority of issues encountered have been successfully addressed by the government. The SSD program is one of the largest of several Federal programs providing assistance to Americans with disabilities. Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you have worked long enough and paid Social Security Taxes.
Is There a List of Qualifying Impairments for SSD?
The Social Security administration uses certain disability criteria to determine whether a claimant is disabled. In part, the criteria are in the form of a “Blue Book” that contains a list of impairments, along with detailed requirements for determining whether a medical condition is disabling. While widely known as the Blue Book, the official name of this handbook is Disability Evaluation Under Social Security.
The most common medical conditions the government considers severe enough to keep you from working are listed in the Blue Book, which is divided into two primary parts. Part A of the Blue Book is dedicated to adult disability assessments, while Part B is dedicated to assessments of childhood disabilities. Both Part A and Part B are then divided into sections, containing information about the different disabilities. Part A is divided into the following:
- Immune System Disorders
- Neurological Issues
- Vision and Hearing
- Respiratory System
- Hematological Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Genitourinary Systems
- Digestive System
- Cardiovascular System
- Mental Disorders
- Skin Disorders
- Multiple Body Systems
- Neoplastic Diseases (Cancer)
Under each major body system, you will find a list of disabling conditions in the Blue Book. The Blue Book takes into account the degree of severity for the disabling condition while setting out requirements for severity of symptoms, clinical findings, and lab tests. If your condition does not closely match a listing in the Blue Book, it may be more difficult—but certainly not impossible—to receive SSD benefits. If you haven’t had the required clinical or lab tests required in the Blue Book listing, you can either ask your doctor to perform those tests or wait for the SSA to pay for a consultative exam.
What if My Condition Is Not Listed in the Blue Book?
Perhaps your condition does not exactly match the requirements of the listing in the Blue Book. In this case, the disability claims examiner can determine whether your specific impairment is equivalent to a similar listing (in terms of severity and level of disability). The Social Security Administration understands that there are many different ways to diagnose and document the same illness, so will work with you if your condition is not listed.
You might also have a variety of medical conditions that on their own do not equal the SSA definition of disabling. Combined, however, your medical conditions could be equally severe as another Blue Book listing. If you can prove your condition limits your ability to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. If you must appeal an SSD denial based on a condition the SSA does not consider disabling, it is important to have an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer by your side to argue your case.
What is an SSD Consultative Exam?
You might feel anxious if you receive a letter in the mail telling you that you must undergo a consultative exam. Rest assured that this is a common part of the process when you apply for Social Security disability. The consultative exam is scheduled by a disability examiner as a method of further evaluating your disabling medical condition. This exam will cost you nothing, and the disability examiner is not necessarily looking to jam up your SSD benefits.
Generally, if an examiner finds any information in your medical records that seems inconsistent with your claim of a disabling condition, they will schedule a consultative examination. When you receive the letter telling you about the exam, it is important that you confirm whether you can be there on the date and time requested.
Simply not showing up for a consultative exam is not something you should consider as it could result in delays or an unfavorable decision. You will need to bring a photo ID and a list of the medications you are currently taking to your exam. You shouldn’t expect an immediate decision; it could take a few weeks before your disability examiner receives your results.
How Can a Toledo, Ohio Social Security Disability Lawyer Help?
In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain the SSD benefits you are entitled to receive. Having an experienced SSD attorney from Schaffer & Associates, LPA can be of significant help to you during this process. This is what we do! We know the SSD process inside and out and can help ensure your particular disability qualifies under Blue Book rules. Do not try to do this on your own—contact Schaffer & Associates, LPA today!