Are There Conditions that Automatically Qualify for Disability?

A range of injuries, illnesses, and other medical conditions are eligible for Social Security disability. If you are injured or become ill and experience a loss of income, you could apply for Social Security disability benefits.

What Is a Disability?

what is a dissabilityAccording to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a person has a disability if they:

  • Have a medical condition preventing them from working and engaging in substantial gainful activity
  • Can’t do the job they had before the accident or adjust to another type of work
  • Have the condition for at least one year or expect it to last for at least one year or result in death

The SSA considers these five factors when determining if an injured or sick worker has a disability and is eligible for benefits:

  • Whether the employee still works and their average monthly wages are over $1,350
  • Whether the disability significantly limits the ability to perform basic tasks at work, such as sitting, lifting, standing, or walking
  • Whether the condition is on the list of qualifying medical conditions
  • Whether the worker can perform their previous job due to the disability
  • Whether the employee can find another job based on their age, education, experience, skills, and medical conditions

Conditions Eligible for Disability Benefits

Many conditions can qualify you for automatic benefits. You can find them on the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments. Some of the most common conditions eligible for disability benefits are below.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders affect the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue. Common types of conditions include:

  • Back pain – An injury to the spine, muscles, tissue, discs, or spinal cord can cause significant pain and a range of other symptoms. It can impair the ability to perform various job-related tasks.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system disorder that can lead to pain, joint stiffness, fatigue, and weakness. It can severely affect a person’s physical functioning.
  • Fibromyalgia – Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread pain in the musculoskeletal system. Symptoms commonly include memory issues, fatigue, and dull aching pain.

Mental Disorders

Although mental disorders might not seem disruptive to a person’s physical job-related abilities, they can cause debilitating symptoms. Mental illnesses that qualify for SSD benefits include:

  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders – Schizophrenia causes behavior that can impair daily functioning. Symptoms can include delusions, disordered thinking, and hallucinations.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by a traumatic event. Severe anxiety, flashbacks, and nightmares are common with this type of mental disorder.
  • Mood disorders – Depression and anxiety are among the most common mood disorders. They can severely limit a person’s cognitive function and cause debilitating physical symptoms.

Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system consists of capillaries, veins, and the heart. Different conditions can affect the cardiovascular system, such as:

  • Coronary artery disease – The coronary arteries narrow from plaque build-up when someone has coronary artery disease. This decreases the amount of blood and oxygen the heart receives.
  • Angina – Angina is a condition that causes severe chest pain. It can also radiate to the arms, neck, and shoulders. The pain results from a decrease in blood flow to the heart.
  • Hypertension – Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, can cause severe damage and lead to a stroke, heart disease, or another cardiovascular problem.


Different types of cancer are eligible for SSD benefits depending on multiple factors. The most common cancers involved in disability claims include:

  • Lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Skin cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Breast cancer
  • Sarcoma of the skeletal system
  • Cancers of the neck and head
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Stomach or esophageal cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Malignant melanoma
  • Liver cancer

Neurological Disorders

neurological disorder workers compensationNeurological disorders affect the brain and nerves around the body and spinal cord. Common neurological conditions limiting a person’s abilities at work include:

  • Multiple sclerosis – Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disease. The immune system attacks the myelin, the protective covering around nerve fibers, and disrupts communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
  • Traumatic brain injury – A traumatic brain injury can result from a violent jolt or blow to the head or neck or penetrating injury. Dizziness, headaches, and fatigue are common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury.
  • Muscular dystrophy – Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that cause a loss of muscle mass and progressive weakness. It can lead to frequent falls, causing additional injuries and medical issues.

Contact Us

If you suffered an injury or illness that prevents you from earning your usual wages, contact Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. today. You might qualify for disability benefits if you can’t return to your job or make the income you made before your diagnosis.

Call Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. at 516-496-0400 for a free consultation with one of our New York Social Security disability attorneys.

Last Updated : May 6, 2022