The Social Security Disability
Experts Since 1984


Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

What are the eligibility criteria for SSDI and SSI benefits? To be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability.

The SSA defines disability as follows:

  • Your medical condition has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
  • Your medical condition falls under or equals an impairment listing in the SSA’s Blue Book.
  • Your medical condition has left you incapable of performing the work you previously did, or any new form of work. Therefore, you cannot take part in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).

The SSA takes into account factors such as age, educational background, prior work experience, and additional skills when assessing your ability to perform SGA. If the SSA determines you’re unable to work and maintain any form of gainful employment, you will be deemed disabled.

What Is the Blue Book?

The SSA’s Blue Book is a catalog of impairments that qualify claimants for disability benefits. These are separated into specific body system categories. Symptoms and other qualifying criteria are further defined under each listing.

Qualifying Impairments

Mental Disorders

Physical Disorders

There are certain disabilities that automatically qualify individuals for SSI or SSDI benefits under the Compassionate Allowances initiative. These encompass conditions such as adult-onset Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and specific types of cancer.

Additionally, it should be noted that qualifying listings are the same for SSI and SSDI claimants. However, the Adult Listings of Impairments are slightly different from the Childhood Listings of Impairments, as is the definition of disability.

How Do You Know If You Qualify for Benefits?

Determining SSDI or SSI eligibility in California can be difficult, especially if your condition isn’t in the Blue Book. You may be asking questions like, “Does lung cancer qualify you for Social Security Disability?” or “Can you get disability for anxiety?” If you plan to apply for SSI or SSDI, we can help determine your chances of receiving benefits.

Contact our disability attorneys in Stockton, CA, Bakersfield, or Fresno if you want to know if you have a qualifying condition. At Peña & Bromberg, we’re here to help you get the financial assistance you need. We can aid you in applying for SSI benefits, SSDI, or filing an appeal after a denial.

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