In order to seek Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must determine that you are disabled and unable to perform gainful employment for one full year. To do this, the Social Security Administration seeks to determine whether you have met one of the listed disabling conditions, or whether you fulfill any of the other criteria of their 5-point disability determination process.
For many conditions, you should consult your attorney (not your doctor), to see whether your condition is on the list. Your attorney can ask your doctor if they consider whether you meet the requirements of a listed illness. Just because your case is not in the listing, does not mean that your case is over with.
You could still be found disabled based upon the fact that your basic work activities, such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, pushing, thinking and concentrating prevents you from doing work.
How Does Social Security Determine Disability?
After your initial disability benefits application is reviewed by the SSA field office, the determination of disability is handed over to the Ohio Disability Determination Service (DDS), which evaluates your medical condition, when it began, and your ability to continue or resume activity. They will look at all medical tests you have received as well as treatments and prescriptions that have been tried to control your condition.
In evaluating your level of disability, the SSA uses a 5-step process:
Are you working? If you are working at what the SSA considers substantial gainful activity (SGA), which means earning about $1000 a month, or what could earn $1000 a month, then you will not be considered disabled.
Is your medical condition “severe”? The DDS will determine whether your medical condition significantly impairs your ability to perform basic functions of work, such as walking, remembering, sitting still, or interacting with others. They will also determine whether it has or will impair you for more than a year.
Is your condition on the list? Next, the DDS will see if your condition is on the “Listing of Impairments.” If it is not on the listing, the DDS may compare your condition to one on the list to determine whether it might also be disabling.
Can you do your former work? Now the DDS will ask whether your condition reasonably prevents you from doing the work you used to do to earn wages. If your disability is found to prevent you from doing your former work, the DDS will move to question five.
Can you do any work? Now the DDS will attempt to consider whether your disability prevents you from doing other types of work. If so, then you will be considered disabled.
Brief Listings of Conditions
There are hundreds of disabling conditions in the SSA’s full Listing of Impairments. For many conditions, you may have to ask your doctor or a lawyer whether your condition is on the list or if it might be considered as severe as others on the list. You could still be found disabled based upon the fact that your basic work activities, such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, pushing, thinking and concentrating prevents you from doing work. However, here is a brief listing of some of the more common disabling injuries and/or disorders:
- Common disabling injuries
- Common illnesses that can be disabling
- Musculoskeletal System Disorders
- Special Senses and Speech Disorders
- Respiratory System Disorders
- Cardiovascular System Disorders
- Digestive System Disorders
- Genitourinary System Disorders
- Hematological Disorders
- Skin Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Neurological Disorders
- Mental Disorders
- Malignant Neoplastic Diseases
- Immune System Disorders
You can look at the categories that are appropriate to your condition, or you can Click here for a free social security disability benefit eligibility evaluation. Fast, Free and Easy.