If you have applied for Social Security disability benefits, you may already know that many people with disabilities also suffer from additional health problems, such as depression or arthritis. While this may seem like adding insult to injury, it can also increase your chances of getting approved for benefits—as long as you report all of your health conditions on your application.

Getting Social Security Disability for a Combination of Mental and Physical Impairments

The Social Security Administration is required to consider all of your impairments when making a decision on your disability claim. This includes all physical and mental impairments, but also the combined effects these conditions can have on each other.

However, the Social Security Administration cannot judge the effects of a condition if you fail to include them on your application. When listing your medical impairments, be sure to consider:

  • Physical conditions. Many people with a primary disability (such as a back injury) will neglect to include minor physical injuries, such as arthritis or osteoporosis. While these conditions may seem secondary next to a major disability, they can affect your functional capacity and are relevant to your disability case. As disability claims examiners are legally required to consider of the all impairments listed on your application, it is in your best interest to list all of your conditions (as well as the treatment you receive for each one).
  • Mental conditions. While people with disabilities are more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety, many do not list these conditions on their Social Security disability applications. Some simply do not think their mental conditions are severe enough to get approval, while many have never been diagnosed with an emotional condition. If you have a condition that limits your ability to perform activities of daily living, social functioning, concentration, sleeping patterns, or other work abilities, you should always include this information on your disability application.
  • Combinations and interactions. Your mental and physical impairments may overlap in ways that increase the overall severity of your disability. For instance, anxiety can make it harder for you to sleep, causing you to toss and turn and aggravating the pain in your back. Also, the medications you take for each condition can negatively affect one another, such as if your depression medication causes weight gain and makes it harder for you to get through your physical therapy exercises.

If you are suffering from a number of different health conditions, we can tell you which should be included in your disability application. Click the contact link on this page to tell us about your situation in detail call us at (402) 933 5405, or order our free guide, 5 Deadly Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Social Security Disability Case.


Sean D. Cuddigan
Connect with me
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska