Qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be a protracted process, even for someone whose medical condition is severe. One of the most common questions potential SDDI applicants have is whether their medical condition will qualify them for benefits under current federal standards.

The better you understand the rules in place for determining whether a medical condition qualifies somebody for SSDI benefits, the more educated a decision you will be able to make about your application and need for benefits.

Is your qualifying condition is listed impairment?

There are dozens of medical conditions severe enough to permanently prevent someone from gainful employment or even providing for all of their own care and needs. While it would be impossible for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to create a list of every potentially disabling condition, they do have a relatively comprehensive list of impairments ranging from endocrine disorders and cancer to mental conditions and muscular-skeletal conditions.

Those whose condition is on the list of disabling conditions will have a more straightforward application, but those whose condition is severe enough to compare to the listed impairments collected by the SSA also likely have grounds to seek benefits.

How long will your symptoms or condition likely last?

Beyond exploring the actual diagnosis and the severity of your symptoms, the professional reviewing your application for the SSA will also want to know how long you will suffer from these severe symptoms related to your condition.

If you have already initiated treatments and have a strong likelihood of going into remission or managing your symptoms within the next 12 months, the denial of your application is likely. However, if your condition will probably persist for 12 months or longer after your application, you may have stronger grounds for seeking disability benefits.

Can you still perform your standard career tasks or other jobs?

The ability to work or provide care for yourself is a major consideration in modern disability cases. If you can continue to work, you probably won’t qualify for disability benefits. Even if you could work if you changed careers, you may also fail to qualify.

However, if working has become impossible due to your symptoms or if you can show that you can no longer engage in basic self-care, such as showering or feeding yourself, then you likely have a valid claim for disability benefits.

It’s important to realize that even those with a significant and disabling medical condition can still wind up initially denied benefits, which is why understanding the qualifications for disability benefits and the importance of following through with an appeal is a critical value to those dealing with serious medical issues.