Residents of Rhode Island who are unable to work due to a physical injury or mental health condition may be eligible to receive monthly Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. However, since the majority of Social Security disability applicants are initially denied, those applying may wonder if their injury or illness qualifies them for benefits.
One of the first steps to a successful SSD application is knowing which conditions qualify. This article will discuss ten of the different types of disabilities the Social Security Administration (SSA) commonly approves.
10 Most Approved Conditions for Social Security Disability Benefits
There are countless types of injuries or illnesses that may prevent people from working and supporting themselves financially. The Social Security Administration knows that each person and situation is unique, and they review each application based on the person’s individual circumstances.
The following are the 10 most frequent types of disabilities that the SSA approves for benefits in Rhode Island.
1: Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
Over 30 percent of people who receive SSA benefits suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). These types of disorders affect the bones, muscles, and joints. Conditions include fibromyalgia, ruptured discs, spinal cord injury scoliosis, and arthritis.
If your musculoskeletal condition prevents you from being able to work, you may qualify for Social Security benefits. You will need to provide proof that your condition has lasted over 12 months and present medical imaging or other evidence that you have been treated by a medical professional.
2: Mood disorders
In recent years, doctors have greatly improved in their abilities to diagnose and treat mood disorders. Nevertheless, severe mood disorders such as bipolar, severe depression, or anxiety may prevent a Rhode Island resident from being able to maintain gainful employment – qualifying that individual to receive SSD.
Keep in mind that you will need to provide extensive medical records in order to qualify. Required documents might include brain scans, a diagnosis from a psychologist or psychiatrist, and a record of treatments.
3: Nervous system disorders
According to the World Health Organization, every 1 in 3 Americans suffers from some type of nervous system disorder. Social Security administrators approve many applications for those who suffer from disorders such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, ALS, and multiple sclerosis.
Some neurological conditions get better over time with the right medical treatment, but others are permanent or degenerative. Qualifying factors that the SSA will evaluate may include disorganized motor functions, mental and physical impairments, and the ability to communicate.
4: Circulatory system conditions
The circulatory or cardiovascular system pumps blood throughout your body. It also supplies the body’s cells with needed oxygen, nutrients, and hormones. When a person’s cardiovascular system is not functioning properly, it can affect his or her ability to drive, work, and perform basic daily tasks.
Genetics, poor diet, lack of exercise, and lifestyle choices contribute to heart disease being one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Common circulatory diseases that afflict SSD recipients include arrhythmia, angina, cardiomyopathy, stroke, and high blood pressure.
5: Psychotic disorders
Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders can cause delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking or speech. It may affect a person’s ability to understand, remember, apply information, concentrate, and interact with others.
Since these are often necessary skills to apply and maintain a job, it’s easy to see how a person suffering from a psychotic order could qualify for Social Security benefits.
6: Learning or intellectual disabilities
According to the American Psychiatric Association, a person with an intellectual disability possibly has difficulty with learning, problem-solving, and judgment. It may be challenging for such an individual to communicate, live alone, and perform daily activities.
Common types of intellectual disabilities include down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, and developmental delays.
Injuries due to car, truck, and motorcycle crashes, slip-and-falls, medical malpractice, dog bites, and other accidents occur every day in Rhode Island. Sadly, some of these incidents are so severe that victims are left with debilitating and life-altering injuries.
Injuries that qualify a person to receive Social Security benefits may include:
- Loss of limbs
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Fractured bones or joints
- Back injury
- PTSD or severe anxiety
- Vision or hearing loss
8: Other mental disorders
An example of a mental disorder that falls under this category is borderline personality disorder (BPD). People with BPD often have difficulty controlling their emotions and experience drastic personality changes over short periods of time.
BPD can cause various challenges in a workplace environment. For example, if a boss tells a person with borderline personality disorder to do something that he or she doesn’t want to do, that person may react angrily and lash out. Or if someone has difficulty interacting appropriately with others, he or she may have a problem in any job involving customer service or talking with clients.
9: Organic mental disorders
The SSA defines an organic mental disorder as “psychological or behavioral abnormalities associated with the dysfunction of the brain.” This includes Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injuries, amnesia, and dementia. Common symptoms include loss of memory, confusion, and loss of cognitive ability or brain function.
10: Endocrine disorders
Your endocrine system produces and distributes hormones throughout your body. Hormones control things such as metabolism, growth and development, and mood. Even the slightest change in hormone levels can produce serious complications.
There are many different types of health problems that may be categorized as endocrine disorders, and not all qualify a person for SSD benefits. Some endocrine medical conditions that have qualified include diabetes, seizures, osteoporosis, and hypothyroid.
When Your Rhode Island Social Security Disability Benefits Are Denied
Even if you are diagnosed with one of the ten conditions listed, the odds are that your Social Security Disability application will be denied the first time that you apply. This can be extremely frustrating when you are in pain, unable to work, and need money to support yourself.
Social Security disability is one practice area that our lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush are highly experienced in. We can help you at any point during the application process, so even if you have filed your claim already, it’s not too late to get free legal advice from us. However, if you have not filed yet, please speak to a lawyer before taking the next step. It could mean the difference between success and failure.