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A broad range of conditions can qualify for SSDI benefits

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2020 | Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has to make very difficult decisions regarding what people qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and what people do not. There are guidelines that help the SSA reach a conclusion about whether someone’s condition qualifies them for SSDI.

Many factors influence the likelihood of someone’s SSDI benefits claim receiving approval, including the diagnosis of the individual, the severity of their condition and their overall prognosis. There is no single, comprehensive list of qualifying conditions for SSDI, but there are certain conditions that make it more likely for someone to qualify quickly.

Presumptive disability and fast-track consideration apply in some cases

The more severe someone’s diagnosis is, the more quickly they can potentially secure both the approval of their SSDI benefits claim and financial aid. In some cases, people can even begin receiving benefits before the SSA has had a chance to fully review their application.

Certain specific conditions qualify for presumptive disability payments during the application process because they are so severe. These conditions include:

  • ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • terminal illnesses
  • cerebral palsy
  • stroke with prolonged mobility consequences
  • total deafness
  • total blindness
  • spinal cord injuries that impact the ability to walk
  • complete immobility or bed confinement
  • Down syndrome
  • intellectual disabilities like autism
  • extremely low birth weight in infants
  • end-stage renal disease


Beyond these specific conditions, the SSA has 14 additional categories of debilitating conditions. Provided that the condition is severe enough and impacts someone’s ability to work or care for themselves, the potential exists for that person to receive SSDI benefits.

Any severe diagnosis can potentially qualify you for SSDI

The fact that there isn’t a list of qualifying conditions makes SSDI more accessible to more people who need its benefits. Even those with exceptionally rare diseases that aren’t on any list can still qualify for SSDI with the right medical documentation and help during the application process.

The diagnosis itself is far less important than the prognosis in your case and the impact your condition has on your life. The greater the impact and more negative the prognosis, the more straightforward your claim likely becomes. However, those with unusual conditions or unusually severe forms of typically mild conditions may need to prepare themselves to validate their need for benefits through the collection of medical documentation.


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