The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a very strict definition of “disability.” Usually, for someone to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, they must have a medical condition that will last at least one year or result in death. But qualifying for SSDI benefits goes beyond that: the condition has to be severe enough that the applicant cannot engage in any meaningful work. For example, suppose a delivery truck driver injured his back while delivering too many heavy packages over the years. Now, he cannot pick up anything above five pounds, nor can he bend over. Does he qualify for disability? Well, if he can engage in modified, lighter, or easier work, it’s unlikely he will qualify for disability benefits. If he can answer phones or do filing work, he probably wouldn’t qualify for disability benefits because he can still do some types of work, just not what he was doing before. On the other hand, there are certain conditions that the SSA considers to be so serious that when a person is diagnosed with one of them, they are highly likely to be approved for benefits. These conditions are covered under the “Listing of Impairments.”
What is the Listing of Impairments?
“The Listing of Impairments describes, for each major body system, impairments considered severe enough to prevent an individual from doing any gainful activity,” according to the Social Security Administration. The SSA goes on to explain how most of the listed impairments are “permanent” or they are expected to be fatal, or the specific listing is expected to last for a certain period of time. While there are dozens of conditions included in the Adult Listing of Impairments, some of the listings include but are not limited to:
- Amputation due to any cause (e.g. accident or disease)
- Serious burns
- Fractures of upper extremities
- Chronic heart failure
- Certain cancers
- Speech loss
- Chronic liver disease
- Benign brain tumors
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- HIV infection
If you believe you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that is on the Adult List of Impairments, contact our Plano SSDI firm to discuss your options and to get started. We look forward to helping you.