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What does Social Security consider a disability?

If you have been out of work for a year because of a disability, you may be considering filing for a Social Security Disability claim. However, the Social Security Administration only grants about 35% of disability claims.

Why is that?

Social security disability basics

First, your disability must last a year to qualify for SSA disability or it must be expected to result in your death. Second, it must limit your ability to do basic activities—such as walking, sitting, standing or remembering or retaining information—to work.

Third, it must part of the SSA’s Listing of Impairments (sometimes, also called the Blue Book). Finally, your condition must prevent you from doing work you’re qualified to do.

Conditions that qualify as a disability

Here are some of the conditions that may qualify for SSA disability benefits:

  • Chronic heart failure
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Back pain
  • Blindness
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cirrhosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Cancer
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hepatitis
  • HIV
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Paralysis

Symptoms for meeting disability standards

Also, not only are only certain conditions considered disabilities by the SSA, you must also have specific symptoms in some conditions. For example, to qualify for disability payments for chronic heart failure, you must still be undergoing treatment for it and have documented systolic or diastolic failure. You also must have heart failure symptoms that interfere with daily living, have three or more episodes of acute congestive heart failure over 12 months or fail an exercise tolerance test.

Social Security disability claim denied: What next?

If Social Security has denied your claim, contact an attorney with experience handling Social Security disability claims. Often, an attorney can ensure you have filled out the paperwork completely and you have medical proof of your disability, as well as that you file an appeal by the set deadline.

Also, your chances for approval are better if you file an appeal on your disability claim, instead of reapplying for SSA disability. You also must show you are following your doctors’ treatment plan.

The stress of paying medical bills and household expenses when you can’t work because of a disability can feel overwhelming. Working with an attorney will give you the best chance to get your Social Security disability claim approved so you can focus more time on treating your illness or injury.

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