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Understanding the medical condition requirement for disability

The availability of Social Security disability benefits is based on two important components. Those components include a medical requirement and a work history requirement and it is helpful for disabled applicants to be familiar with both.

Social Security disability is available to disabled individuals who suffer from a medical condition that is severe enough that it prevents them from working and is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death. Essentially, SSD benefits are not available for short-term disability. To meet the medical history requirement, the Social Security Administration provides lists of medical conditions that can satisfy it including the Listing of Impairments.

Some medical conditions that may qualify can include chronic pain and Fibromyalgia; mental health disabilities, including depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder;

sleep disorders; neck and back injuries; head and brain injuries; spinal cord injuries, including paralysis; heart problems, including strokes and heart attacks; lung problems and pulmonary problems; breathing and respiratory problems, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma; cancers; upper extremity injuries; arthritis; Multiple Sclerosis (MS); Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD); and learning disabilities.

Disabled individuals should fear not, however, if their medical condition is not on the list because each case is evaluated on its own and what is important to demonstrate in an application for benefits is the severity of the medical condition and to thoroughly document the medical condition. Because most applications for disability benefits are initially denied, disabled individuals seeking benefits should understand the application process and how to qualify.

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