When an injury or illness prevents you from working, you can ask the Social Security Administration (SSA) to help supplement your income. But in order for them to help you, you must qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

There are many factors that the SSA looks at when qualifying you for benefits. One of the most important factors is if your condition impairs you enough to prevent you from working. But how do you know if your condition will qualify?

The SSA has a listing of impairments that typically prevent people from working. Some examples of these impairments include:

  • Back problems, especially those that cause severe pain or limited mobility
  • Loss of vision, hearing or speech
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depressive disorder
  • Joint replacements, like hip or knee
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Cancer
  • Auto-immune diseases

The conditions that the SSA lists can automatically approve you for benefits. But you will still need to prove that your condition will prevent you from working for at least a year to qualify.

Am I automatically approved with a listed condition?

While having a listed condition helps confirm your need for benefits, you will need to prove to the SSA that you have the condition. You also need to prove it is severe enough to match their standards. They will look at your medical history and work history to decide if you qualify for benefits.

Some conditions, like mental disorders, can be more difficult to prove. Consult with an attorney to make sure you have all the proof needed to confirm your eligibility.

What if the listing of impairments doesn’t have my condition?

While the SSA uses their listing of impairments to determine disability, you may still qualify if you don’t have a listed condition. You will need to prove that your condition is as severe as the ones listed.

You have options if illness or injury prevent you from working. The SSA understands that a severe condition can leave you unable to pay your bills. They created their listing of impairments to define exactly what kind of conditions can qualify you for benefits.