Eligible Medical Conditions in Nashville
The third step in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) process of establishing disability is an important turning point in the consideration process. This step matches your condition with the SSA’s list of disabling impairments. If your condition is found on the list, the state considers you disabled. If a condition is not on the list, it doesn’t end the process – but it can be harder to convince the SSA that it qualifies as a disability in the next step.
Types of Conditions Considered Disability
There are two separate lists of conditions that qualify for full disability, one for adults and one for children. The SSA investigates an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and tries to match the claimant’s listed condition with the list of established conditions. As of the most recent update in 2015, both lists for adults and children have these main categories:
- Musculoskeletal system disorders
- Cardiovascular system disorders
- Hematological disorders
- Congenital disorders
- Malignant cancer
- Immune system disorders
- Neurological issues
- Skin disorders
- Digestive system issues
- Special senses and speech
- Respiratory system disorders
- Genitourinary disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Mental disorders
All sections have detailed subsections describing the full extent of impairments on the list. Any of these disorders will immediately qualify an adult or a child under the age of 18 for disability in the eyes of the SSA, and grant monthly SSI benefits for life (or until the condition improves). The only added category for child conditions is low birth weight/failure to thrive.
For the SSA to define a condition as disability, they must find out if the claimant’s inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity and prove a medically determinable impairment caused the disability. The SSA and medical professionals expect impairments to last at least one year or until death.
How Are Impairments Investigated?
A “medically determinable impairment” is any physical or mental condition that results from abnormalities (anatomical, psychological, or physiological) that medical diagnostic techniques can prove or display. SSA representatives will review claimant’s applications, verify nonmedical eligibility, and then gather evidence from the claimant’s listed medical sources. If this evidence isn’t enough to determine disability, the state agencies responsible for developing medical evidence (the DDSs) will arrange an examination of the claimant to gather more information.
Then, the medical/psychological practitioner and a disability examiner make a determination of disability. If they find the claimant disabled, the DDSs return the case to the SSA representative who completes the case, and benefit payments begin. If they do not find the claimant disabled, the SSA denies the request and holds the file in case the claimant makes an appeal.
Medical professionals play a large role in determining if a condition qualifies as a disability. The SSA works with medical practitioners to provide medical evidence, to perform examinations, to act as consultants on claims, and to testify as medical experts in a hearing. Without the evidence of disability backed by a doctor, the claimant has little to no chance of qualifying for SSI benefits.
I Think I’m Eligible for Benefits. What Now?
If you’ve reviewed the list of conditions that qualify as disabilities and believe your case qualifies for SSI benefits, you can apply online to start the process. It will take three to six weeks for your initial response to come back. If you’d like to make an appeal on the SSA’s decision, it can take anywhere from one year or longer to go to trial depending on the situation.
The attorneys at Larry R. Williams, PLLC, can make the application, reconsideration, and appeal process easier on you by taking care of communications with the SSA, creating a strategy moving forward, and helping you prepare for hearings and trials.