Woman with fibromyalgia pain.

Conditions that Commonly Qualify for SSD

Social Security disability benefits can help millions across the country who are unable to work due to a disability. In fact, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), more than 10 million people are currently receiving Social Security disability benefits. However, many are often left wondering which medical conditions qualify for disability benefits. 

The approval of a specific condition depends on each specific case. The Social Security Administration says that those who receive disability benefits fall into these categories:


Abnormal tissue masses, known as tumors, can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Examples of common types of cancers of SSD recipients include lung cancer and mesothelioma. However, not all cancers automatically make a person eligible for benefits, as it depends on the type of cancer, severity, responsiveness to treatment and length of recovery. 

Cardiac and Circulatory Disorders

Cardiac and circulatory disorders impact how the blood flows to and from the heart and the body. Common SSD conditions include:

  • Angina
  • Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm)
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Coronary artery disease 
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Mental Disorders

There are requirements for a mental disorder to qualify for disability benefits. The mental disorder must:

  • Be diagnosed by a medical professional; and
  • Severely limit a person’s ability to operate on his or her own.  This is ideally corroborated by the findings of a medical professional or other objective evidence. 

Regardless, SSD approval always depends on each specific case. Common SSD conditions include:

  • Anxiety
  • Autism/Asperger’s syndrome
  • Depression
  • Organic brain syndrome
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic attacks
  • Schizophrenia

Musculoskeletal System and Connective Tissue: 

Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue conditions impact someone’s muscles, ligaments, nerves, or tendons. The largest number of disability benefits recipients fall into this category. Common SSD conditions include:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal disorders

Nervous System and Sense Organs

Nervous system and sense organ conditions generally impact memory and the ability to finish every day activities.

  • Blindness
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 
  • Deafness
  • Neuralgia
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sciatica

It is important to emphasize that, while these conditions could make you eligible for Social Security disability benefits, simply having one of them does not mean that you yourself are definitely eligible. As mentioned, each case is different and is subject to its own requirements and factors. Since the above list is not extensive, you can find a complete list of qualifying medical conditions and evaluation factors on the Social Security Administration’s website

Our Pennsylvania SSD Attorneys Can Help

When you are struggling with a disability that prevents you from working, you may not know what to do. Luckily, the attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your ability to make ends meet. That’s why we’re here to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!