If you suffer from a long-term or permanent disability, you may wonder if it automatically qualifies you for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a lengthy list of ailments that may qualify adults and children for benefits, but there is no automatic process.
While having the condition makes you automatically eligible for benefits, it is only the first step in the SSD process. You still need to jump through a number of hoops to get the benefits you deserve.
Which conditions are automatically eligible?
The SSA has a “Blue Book,” which has the formal title “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security.” It represents a list of impairments—physical and mental—that the agency deems severe enough to preclude a person from working. The book also explains the medical-related criteria people need to prove in order to receive disability benefits.
Some of the medical conditions in the Blue Book include:
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Cardiovascular system
- Mental disorders
- Immune system disorders
If you have a listed condition, it does not automatically entitle you for SSD benefits. The Blue Book simply describes what applicants must prove to the SSA. The book thoroughly describes the symptoms and test results that you must have to be considered disabled. It also describes which medical records are needed to prove it.
Denied applications are common
If your medical condition is not listed in the Blue Book, you may still qualify to receive SSD benefits. The best thing to do is apply for SSD benefits when you are first qualified for them.
Don’t be surprised if your application is denied by the SSA. This happens a lot. Instead of getting discouraged, seek help from someone who can guide you through the appeal process.