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How to determine if a medical condition qualifies for SSDI

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2023 | Social Security Disability Insurance |

Many people who think they could benefit from applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will delay doing so because they worry about the complexities of the process. There is a lot of misinformation out there about SSDI benefits and the application process.

Sometimes, the stories that people share about SSDI benefits actually deter qualified applicants from pursuing benefits. Those who understand the primary criteria for qualifying for SSDI benefits may feel more empowered to submit paperwork or discuss their case with a lawyer. These are the primary rules that determine whether a medical condition qualifies for SSDI or not.

Rules about a condition’s severity

People often become too focused on a specific diagnosis and whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) includes that condition on its thorough but not exhaustive list of qualifying conditions.

Many people who might potentially qualify for SSDI benefits do not have a specific diagnosis listed on the SSA website but instead have a condition that meets the qualifying criteria. Even if someone has a condition that the SSA recognizes as frequently disabling, the applicant will still need to present medical evidence validating its severity in most cases.

A condition typically needs to prevent someone from engaging in any form of gainful employment activity for it to qualify someone for benefits. A medical condition that would make someone change jobs but would still allow them to work in an office or a retail environment would typically not qualify someone for SSDI benefits.

Rules about the condition’s duration

Someone who experiences total incapacitation won’t necessarily qualify for benefits if their issue only lasts for a couple of weeks. Typically, the SSA will only approve someone for SSDI benefits if their health concerns will last for at least a year or will persist until they die. Short-term medical issues, regardless of their severity, typically do not lead to SSDI benefits unless someone has a terminal illness.

Provided that someone’s medical condition is serious enough and they have sufficient work history to qualify for full benefits, they could potentially apply for SSDI for any of a number of different medical conditions. Learning more about qualifying medical conditions with the assistance of a knowledgeable legal professional can help many adults who are worried about financial independence following a serious injury or illness diagnosis.