What if Social Security doesn't list my medical condition?

The Social Security department has a list of automatically-qualifying medical conditions. This list is known as the Listing of Impairments. If a disabled individual obtains a medical diagnosis that he or she is suffering from a condition on this list -- and it will render him or her unable to work for at least a year or will result in death -- then he or she can receive SSD benenifits.

The thing is, not all medical conditions are easy to classify. Some are unique, or some do not fall neatly on the Social Security department's list.

When your medical condition isn't listed with the Social Security department

You can still qualify for SSI or SSDI benefits when your medical condition doesn't appear on the Listing of Impairments. However, you will need to establish proof that your condition is a medically determinable impairment. This means that your condition has been subjected to both laboratory and clinical testing and you have clinical reports to support your diagnosis.

You'll also need to show that your medical condition has a negative effect on your residual functional capacity. If the level of your residential function capacity is such that it prevents you from performing your normal job duties, and you have proof of this -- such as a doctor's opinion -- then it will support your application for benefits. The disability claims examiner will look at all evidence you submit -- including your medical reports, doctors' diagnoses, doctors' opinions, and the nature and scope of your condition -- to decide whether to award you benefits.

What documents do I need to submit?

As a part of your Social Security disability benefits application, disabled individuals will need to submit information such as the following:

  • Physical examination notes
  • MRI scans
  • CAT scans
  • Treatment reports and treatment notes
  • Psychological health records
  • Blood work panels

Are ready to qualify for Social Security benefits?

The SSD benefits application process can feel daunting but the potentially lifetime benefits of government financial assistance far outweigh the price of organizing all of your information. Ultimately, the more strategic you become with your benefits claim, the better chances you'll have of obtaining the financial assistance you deserve.

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