Posted on Jul 05, 2016

According to the Social Security Administration, “the definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

Disability under Social Security is based on your inability to work.  (They) consider you disabled under Social Security rules if:

You cannot do work that you did before.

(They) decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s).

Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.”3

Some Qualifying Physical Disorders for Social Security Benefits

The Social Security Administration makes decisions regarding disability cases based on an applicant’s ability to work.  Under its framework, there are numerous physical disorders that qualify for disability benefits, if severe enough to limit your ability to work. 

These disorders include (but are not limited to):

  • Chronic breathing problems including chronic obstructive pulmonary deficiency (COPD), emphysema and asthma;
  • Hip and knee injuries, and other joint conditions including arthritis;
  • Muscle and bone disorders;
  • Diabetes;
  • Back and neck injuries and conditions, including degenerative disk disease, disk herniation, bulging disks, spinal stenosis and scoliosis;
  • Spinal disorders;
  • Chronic migraine headaches;
  • HIV and AIDS;
  • Cancer;
  • Heart problems;
  • Stroke and other neurological problems;
  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders;
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS);
  • Hepatitis C; and
  • Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders.

Some Qualifying Mental Disorders for Social Security Benefits


Bipolar disorder or manic depression;

Anxiety disorders;

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);

Mental, emotional and cognitive disorders resulting from traumatic brain injuries;


Schizoaffective disorder; and

Learning disabilities such as low intellectual functioning.

This is an excerpt from 5 Deadly Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Social Security Disability Case. (And How to Avoid Them).  This is the #1 guide to what you need to know about Social Security disability.  If you or someone you care about is thinking about applying for Social Security disability or you have been turned down by Social Security, before you do anything else get the complete guide. You can get a FREE copy of this book by clicking on this link:

Read More About What is Disability as Defined by Social Security?...

Timothy J. Cuddigan (Founder - Retired)
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Omaha Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer With Over 40 Years Experience