What is Considered a Disabling Condition?

You have a condition or illness that prevents you from earning a full-time income and you’ve been told by friends, family and maybe even a doctor or caseworker, that you should apply for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI and/or SSI).

However, you’ve heard that it can be an arduous process and that it’s not easy to get approval. So, how do you know if your particular circumstance even qualifies for benefits?

Before you begin filling out an application, there are a few things to consider when it comes to your disabling condition.


To begin, there are three main questions to ask yourself about your disabling condition. Answering these may help you figure out exactly what is considered an impairment that could qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits.

1. Is your disabling condition listed on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Listing of Impairments?

Also known as the Blue Book, this comprehensive list is split into two sections. One is for adults and the other is for children 18 years and younger. If your condition is listed in the Blue Book, you may be eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits.
Please note that the impairments listed in the Blue Book are not the only ones that are approved by the SSA.
If you have an impairment listed but do not meet the exact criteria OR if you have an impairment that is not exactly the same, but similar to one listed, you may still be able to qualify. Be prepared to make your case to SSA as to how and why your impairments are as limiting as the ones on the list.

2. Is your disability long-term?

SSDI and SSI benefits are not meant for short-term impairments no matter how limiting they might be. Your condition will only be approved if it has already lasted or is expected to last 12 months or longer (or expected to end in death). 

3. If you are under the age of 50, do your medical conditions prevent you from successfully performing any type of full-time work? If you are over 50, do they significantly limit your ability to stand and lift?

The answer to this may seem subjective, but if you feel that your condition prevents or limits your ability to work full-time, you will have the opportunity to make your case using medical records. It is imperative that you always tell your medical professionals about all of your symptoms and limitations so that they may record them.

I Think My Condition Would Qualify for Benefits. Do I Apply For SSDI and SSI Benefits

Now that you have answered these three key questions and analyzed your responses, you might be thinking that your condition may qualify for SSDI and/or SSI benefits. The next step is to begin the application process.


    • OK, so HOW do I apply for SSDI and SSI disability benefits? There are many free resources available to walk you through the application process. Speaking to a lawyer that knows SSDI and SSI law may be beneficial.
    • Worried About Making a Mistake With Your Application? Download our FREE GUIDE “Common Mistakes People Make When Applying for Disability” to help you navigate the application process and to give you a head start on avoiding any simple mistakes.
    • I’m Still Not Sure If My Condition Qualifies. How Do I Find Out More?

You may not have cut-and-dry answers to the three questions listed. Now you are still unsure and don’t know where to go for answers.

Speaking to an experienced professional, like an attorney, may be the next step. They can help you decide if pursuing SSDI and/or SSI benefits is worth your time and energy. Additionally, they may even be able to help you with the application or appeals process.

To speak with the experienced team at Roose & Ressler about your impairment and application, contact us today. A consultation is no cost to you and may be valuable in helping you determine whether or not your condition will qualify for benefits.

An attorney can give you the best possible chance that your claim will be approved. Sometimes the process is confusing or complicated. An attorney can explain what is happening and can ease your mind when there is nothing to be concerned about and take action for you when there is a concern. An attorney can be your partner, walking through the process with you, from beginning to end, including making sure that you are paid all the benefits to which you are entitled when you win.