Social Security Insurance (SSI) benefits can be quite helpful for anyone who can no longer work because of a serious illness or injury. However, to qualify for these benefits, you must meet certain medical requirements that have been established by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The following information provides a brief overview of the medical requirements for SSI.
The Duration of Your Medical Condition
Although your condition may be severe and you consider yourself to be disabled, the decision as to whether you qualify for benefits lies in the hands of the SSA. The SSA first takes into consideration the duration of your condition. Only those who have been afflicted with their medical condition for at least one year or expect that the condition will last that long are eligible for benefits.
Your Ability to Work
SSI payments are meant to replace the money you would be making if you were able to work. So, to qualify for benefits, you must be able to show that your condition severely affects your ability to work at your job. The SSA may also evaluate you to determine if there is another type of job you can work at to be able to earn a reasonable living before they make their determination on granting you benefits.
What Medical Conditions Qualify for disability Benefits?
The SSA has compiled a document they call the “Listing of Impairments”, which is also known as “The Blue Book”. This document contains a listing of several ailments that often impair one’s ability to work. These aliments are broken down into categories, each having their own specific medical criteria for eligibility for benefits. If your condition is included in the “Listing of Impairments”, you will be granted benefits if your symptoms meet the listed criteria. The categories in the “Listing of Impairments” include:
- Musculoskeletal System
- Special Senses and Speech
- Respiratory Disorders
- Cardiovascular System
- Digestive System
- Genitourinary System
- Hematological Disorders
- Skin Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
- Neurological Disorders
- Mental Disorders
- Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
- Immune System Disorders
Impairments that are not Listed
Some conditions do not fit neatly into one of the categories in the “Listing of Impairments”. In these cases, if the condition is bad enough that you are no longer able to work and the condition is expected to last at least one year, you may still apply for benefits. But, you will likely have to go through a Residual Functional Capacity exam with a representative from the SSA to determine the level at which you are still able to work.
If you have questions regarding the medical requirements for SSI benefits, contact the law office of Daniel Berger today.