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How to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits

To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must have a diagnosed medical condition that prevents you from work. Generally, those unable to work for a year or more due to a disability receive monthly benefits until they can work again.

The Social Security Administration categorizes qualifying disabilities according to the main bodily systems. If suffering from a disorder related to one of these bodily systems is preventing you from working, you may qualify for disability benefits.

How to determine if you qualify

Whether the health condition is due to an accident, an exposure, a congenital condition or an illness, it must fall under one of the following categories:

  • Musculoskeletal system disorders
  • Sense and speech disorders
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Cardiovascular system disorders
  • Digestive system disorders
  • Genitourinary disorders
  • Hematological disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Congenital disorders that affect multiple systems in the body
  • Neurological disorders
  • Mental disorders
  • Cancer
  • Immune system disorders

There is a separate list of qualifying disabilities for those under age 18.

How to prove you qualify

To receive disability benefits, your medical records must prove your medical condition. Work with your doctor to compile as much information about your diagnosis as possible to submit with your application for disability benefits. Information to gather includes records of all physical examinations, records of all imaging including mental health records, blood work and any notes or treatment reports from your doctor. The records must include dates from when your disability began through the present date. They must also prove that your disability is severe enough to make you unable to work.

Social Security Disability benefits exist to help those who need assistance because they cannot work due to a diagnosed medical condition.