What Conditions Are Likely to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

cropped view of man filling in Social Security Form Concept

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a part of the Social Security system, specifically intended to pay living benefits to people who have become unable to work due to injury or disease. Most people who have worked at least 5 years out of the last 10 while paying into a Social Security account can potentially claim benefits – but that doesn’t mean acceptance is guaranteed.

There’s no “automatic in” for receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Everyone has to apply, and there are disqualifying factors. However, certain medical conditions will make a person more likely to be accepted.

If you’re unable to work due to any of these social security disability conditions, there is a good chance you’ll be able to receive disability benefits.


Many types of cancer or cancer treatments can leave a person unable to work, or unable to work full-time. Nearly any type of cancer can potentially qualify, but these can include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Malignant melanoma

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Disorders of the muscles or skeleton are among the most common reasons a person might be unable to work, particularly if it is due to an accident. For example:

  • Back injuries, especially injuries to the spine or nearby areas.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, if bad enough, can prevent movement in joints necessary for most types of work.
  • Fibromyalgia is a nerve disorder that can cause intense pain throughout the body.

Neurological Disorders

Diseases or injuries that disrupt the brain, spinal cord, or nervous system are also quite common in SSDI benefit claims. These can include:

  • Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative condition that causes a person’s muscle mass to shrink, along with their ability to move properly.
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the brain’s ability to control the body.
  • Traumatic brain injury. Just about any significant damage to the brain can lead to long recovery times or lifelong impairment.

Mental Disorders

We’re often asked if mental disorders are accepted Social Security disability conditions, and the answer can be yes. Typically, they must be fairly serious disorders to the point a person is genuinely unable to work, such as:

  • Schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders, that impair basic everyday functioning.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if it is severe enough to prevent normal work.
  • Severe mood disorders, again, if they prevent normal function in everyday life.

Merryl Jones Will Help You Get Your Benefits

Merryl Jones, the Second Chance Lawyer, is one of the top Social Security lawyers in the Waco area. We’ve helped over a thousand people claim the SSDI benefits they’re owed – and we can help you too!

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