Having a disability could qualify you for benefits through the Social Security Administration.
The SSA however, has their own definition of a qualifying disability.
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What counts as a disability?
Social Security payments cover more than seniors, benefits are also available to people with disabilities. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) could help you, but each has different requirements. Read more about it here.
SSI is usually easier to get. It is designed to help seniors and people with disabilities financially if they have a limited income. You can get both payments but you’ll have to meet the eligibility requirements for both.
In order to qualify for SSDI, you must be registered as disabled and have certain work history requirements. Working family members, like a parent or spouse, can be used to satisfy the requirement, making it difficult for many.
It is also required that your disability prevents you from working for at least 5 months, for most conditions other than ALS.
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What conditions qualify?
Some conditions include:
- Musculoskeletal disorders, such as amputation, chronic joint pain and spinal disorders
- Special senses and speech, such as impaired hearing, sight or speech
- Respiratory disorders, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis
- Cardiovascular illnesses, such as arrhythmia, congenital heart disease and heart failure
- Digestive system, such as bowel or liver disease
- Genitourinary disorders
- Blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease and other anemias, bone marrow failure or hemophilia
- Skin disorders, such as burns, dermatitis and ichthyosis, a group of about 20 conditions that cause dryness and scaling
- Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes and thyroid problems
- Congenital disorders, such as Down syndrome that affect multiple body systems
- Neurological disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and traumatic brain injuries
- Mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, dementia, depression, intellectual disabilities and schizophrenia
- Immune system diseases, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), inflammatory arthritis and lupus
For more information, click on the link associated with the condition in question.
What if my condition isn’t listed?
This list is not exhaustive. That means that you could potentially qualify for SSI or SSDI even if your disorder isn’t listed above.
However, you may have to make a case to the Social Security Administration to prove that your illness/ symptoms are severe enough to impact your daily function.
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