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Top 10 most common conditions that are considered disabilities

Are you struggling to do your job because of an illness or condition, but you don’t think you would qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits? Think again. The Social Security Administration (SSA) grants SSD benefits for more chronic illnesses and disabling physical conditions than you might realize.

Here are the top 10 most common disabling conditions and diseases (including one that may surprise you):

  • Arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems
  • Heart disease
  • Lung and respiration problems such as COPD
  • Depression and other mental illnesses
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
  • Injuries sustained in an accident, such as a brain injury or damage to the spinal cord
  • Pregnancy

Regarding the last item on the list: you might not think of pregnancy as a “disability.” While being pregnant can certainly affect your mobility, ability to sit or stand for long periods, and other restrictions, eventually you give birth and the pregnancy ends. However, many women qualify for short-term disability benefits if they experience a difficult pregnancy and are unable to work.

Serious, chronic conditions

The rest of the list is made up of serious, chronic illnesses and conditions. They can limit the patient’s ability to function for years, possibly for the rest of their life. In many cases, their disability will cause their death. The SSA recognizes this. The agency that oversees the SSD program considers all of these to be qualifying conditions.

For disabled workers, often the challenge is to prove to the SSA that their condition is serious enough that they can no longer work. Most applications for SSD benefits are turned down. Fortunately, you have several chances to appeal a rejected application.

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