For those unable to perform at their careers due to a medical or mental disorder, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may have a plan for you. If you qualify, you can be paid a monthly benefit payment. Most major medical and mental conditions are covered, but it can be tricky to meet all the conditions of the illness. Additionally, not all illnesses are covered. There is an alternate way to get your disease covered and gain benefits, so read on to learn more about equaling a disability.
The SSA Blue Book
All covered conditions can be found in the SSA blue book. This listing (also available online) provides you with the name of the disorder along with the qualifying conditions that must be met. For example, under the listing for malignant melanoma, you will find that an applicant must demonstrate recurring symptoms following treatment or have cancer that has metastasized. These strict conditions may make things harder for those who need help to qualify for benefits given the unique way disease affects everyone differently.
Methods of Equaling a Disability
If your disease is not listed or it doesn't meet the conditions, you have options. Demonstrating any one of the below situations might qualify you for benefits:
You're inflicted by multiple conditions. Some people are afflicted with more than a single medical or mental condition. For example, you might suffer from heart disease and depression. Unsurprisingly, these two conditions relate to one another in many ways. Since the SSA requires that your condition meet certain conditions, you might not qualify under the particulars for either heart disease or depression. However, you might still qualify because of the overall way both of these disorders seriously affect your ability to work.
You're affected by something serious that isn't listed. There are too many types of cancers to list in the blue book, however, some cancers exhibit similar effects on the victim's ability to work at their job. If your type of cancer is not listed but the affliction affects you just like a listed cancer, the SSA might qualify for benefits.
The conditioned hasn't progressed enough. Unfortunately, many diseases are progressive and can be expected to gradually worsen over time. For example, osteoarthritis is a progressive disorder that slowly deteriorates your bones. Pain caused by the loss of cartilage is difficult to manage and often, joint replacement is the only alternative. However, given the limited life-span of artificial joints, doctors often advise patients to wait as long as possible before seeking surgery. If one of the SSA requirements for osteoarthritis is surgery but your condition has not progressed to that point, you might still be approved for benefits using the fact that your disease is expected to worsen.
Appealing a Ruling
Unfortunately, those who need to equal a disability often end up having their benefits denied. However, you have an opportunity to explain your case in person to an administrative law judge at an appeal hearing. Don't go to the hearing alone, however, speak to a Social Security insurance services and get help with no out-of-pocket money needed.