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Types of Disabilities Covered by Social Security

Types of Disabilities Covered by Social SecurityUnderstanding the Types of Disabilities Covered by Social Security

The Social Security Administration (SSA) in the United States provides various types of assistance to citizens, with a critical focus on those with disabilities. These types of disabilities covered by Social Security are a lifeline for those who, due to illness or injury, can no longer work. This article will explore the types of disabilities that are covered by Social Security.

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are the two main programs under the SSA that provide benefits to people with disabilities. The qualifying disabilities are outlined in the SSA’s “Blue Book,” also known as the “Listing of Impairments.” These include physical disabilities, mental disorders, and some specific conditions for children.

  1. Physical Disabilities

The SSA recognizes a wide array of physical disabilities. These include, but are not limited to, musculoskeletal problems like back injuries and spinal disorders; cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure or coronary artery disease; various respiratory illnesses including asthma and cystic fibrosis; neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis; digestive tract problems like liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease; kidney disease and genitourinary problems; and hematological disorders like sickle cell disease and hemophilia.

The Blue Book also lists several immune system disorders such as HIV/AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Certain types of cancers, including but not limited to breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer, are also covered.

  1. Mental Disorders

Social Security also extends coverage to various mental health disorders. These include psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, and intellectual disorder. They also cover neurocognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

In addition, the SSA acknowledges the severity of substance addiction disorders, covering individuals who have a long-term history of drug or alcohol addiction that inhibits their ability to work. However, it is critical to note that merely having a diagnosis is not sufficient to qualify for benefits. The disability must be severe enough to limit the person’s ability to work.

  1. Specific Conditions for Children

For children under the age of 18, Social Security recognizes several medical conditions for SSI. These include but are not limited to total blindness or deafness, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and severe intellectual disorder in children older than 7. For children to qualify, their conditions must severely limit their activities, and the conditions must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least a year or result in death.

  1. Compassionate Allowances

Social Security has a Compassionate Allowances program to fast-track disability decisions for individuals with severe medical conditions. It includes a list of over 200 diseases and conditions that invariably qualify as disabilities, such as certain types of cancers, adult brain disorders, and some rare disorders that affect children.

  1. SSDI and SSI Qualifications

For both SSDI and SSI, disability benefits are awarded based on the severity of the disability and its expected duration. To qualify, the disability must be expected to last at least a year or result in death, and it must prevent the person from performing substantial gainful work.

  1. Working While Disabled

Despite the disability, many people still strive to continue working. The Social Security Administration promotes this through the Ticket to Work program. This program provides beneficiaries with disabilities access to a network of service providers offering career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and job placement services.

Also, the SSA allows a “trial work period” where beneficiaries can still receive full benefits while testing their ability to work for up to nine months. There are also protection measures like “expedited reinstatement” that allows individuals to regain their benefits if they find they can’t work due to their disability within five years.

  1. Conditions Not Covered

It’s also crucial to be aware of the conditions that SSA does not consider as qualifying disabilities. The disability must interfere with basic work-related activities. Therefore, short-term or partial disabilities, or those that are not expected to last at least one year or result in death, do not qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits.

In addition, disabilities resulting solely from drug or alcohol addiction do not qualify for benefits. However, individuals who are disabled and also struggle with substance abuse may still qualify if they have other disabling conditions.

  1. The Application Process

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a complex process. The SSA will ask for detailed information about your medical condition, treatment history, work history, and more. They may also request medical and school records, depending on the case. The application process can be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating, but patience and persistence are key to successful applications.

  1. Appeal Process

If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal process includes several levels, starting with reconsideration, then a hearing by an administrative law judge, review by the Appeals Council, and finally federal court review.

  1. Importance of Legal Assistance

Having competent legal representation can make a significant difference in the outcome of your disability claim. Shea Fugate, P.A. disability lawyer knows the ins and outs of the law, the process, and what it takes to win a disability case.

The services Shea Fugate, P.A. offers range from helping to gather medical evidence, preparing your testimony, questioning witnesses, and representing you at hearings. Call Shea Fugate, P.A. today 407-539-0123 for free, expert consultation or submit this form.

Types of Disabilities Covered by Social Security Conclusion

The Social Security Administration’s disability programs provide much-needed support to people with disabilities who cannot work. Understanding what types of disabilities are covered can help individuals better navigate the system and make informed decisions about their options.

Remember, the goal of the Social Security disability system is not just to provide financial assistance, but also to help individuals achieve their maximum level of independence and participation in society. For many, these benefits are an essential lifeline and a stepping stone to fuller participation in life and work. Call Shea Fugate, P.A. today 407-539-0123 for free, expert consultation or submit this form.

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