The Top 10 Disabilities That Qualify for Social Security Benefits

by | Apr 3, 2024 | Social Security Disability |

Every year, the Social Security Administration publishes an annual report sharing statistics about its disability insurance program. The most recent report, analyzing data from 2022, said that disability benefits were paid to 8.9 million people. The average age of these recipients was 56, and the average monthly benefit received was $1,483.10. The report also revealed that between 2012 and 2021, 67 percent of claims were denied.

The report also lists the top 10 diagnostic categories that receive disability benefits. Here is a list of those categories, along with the percentage of beneficiaries claiming each.

Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue: 30.5%

The biggest category of beneficiaries suffer from conditions like osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, spinal cord injuries, scoliosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and degenerative disc disease. These conditions affect the bones, cartilage, ligaments, and other connective tissues.

Mood disorders: 14.9%

Mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and more, are prevalent among disability claimants. However, mere diagnosis doesn’t automatically qualify for disability benefits; the severity of the condition is a crucial factor in the evaluation process.

Nervous system and sense organs: 9.3%

The nervous system includes your brain, spinal cord, sensory organs, and nerves. This category covers a range of disorders, such as stroke and Ménière’s disease. It also includes conditions like epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and peripheral neuropathy.

Circulatory system: 8.3%

This category includes conditions that affect your arteries and veins, such as coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, atherosclerosis, arrhythmia, heart stacks, and more. Claims related to cardiovascular impairments often face challenges in approval. Issues like the impact of work-related stress on the cardiovascular system and life expectancy disparities pose hurdles for claimants.

Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders: 4.8%

These disorders typically have an early onset, typically under age 30. These disorders can also lead to behaviors such as hallucinations and delusions that may result in incarceration or self-medication that results in substance abuse, complicating the approval process for disability benefits.

Intellectual disabilities: 4.1%

Intellectual disabilities include conditions like autism spectrum disorders. Claimants with these impairments often struggle to secure employment, making disability benefits crucial for their livelihood.

Injuries: 4.0%

While injuries such as fractures and burns can render individuals unable to work, Social Security requires that the impairment lasts for at least 12 months to qualify for benefits. Private disability insurance can supplement income for shorter-term injuries.

Other mental disorders: 3.9%

Mental disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and borderline personality disorder are common but may face challenges in approval due to the stringent evaluation process.

Organic mental disorders: 3.4%

These disorders, such as traumatic brain injuries, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, can also be difficult to prove. Claimants need to show evidence of an impact on their daily functioning and work capabilities.

Endocrine disorders: 3.3%

Diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, hyperthyroidism, and other endocrine disorders can lead to various complications affecting multiple body systems. However, obtaining approval for these conditions may be challenging due to associated proof issues and life expectancy considerations.

Get help with your Social Security disability claim in Richmond, Virginia

Given the denial rate for Social Security disability claims, it’s helpful to have an experienced disability attorney who can help you navigate the claims process and present your case, establish the full extent of your impairment, and explain your disability’s impact on your ability to work.

Contact us now to learn more about how we can help you pursue a Social Security disability claim in Richmond, Virginia.

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