Recognized Impairments for Social Security Disability

In order to receive social security disability benefits, your injury must fall within one of the types found in the official list of recognized impairments. Navigating through the web of impairments and complicated medical names for injuries can be frustrating and confusing.

The following information was designed to better help you make sense of what injuries are recognized.

Categories of Recognized Impairments

The Social Security Administration has grouped all of the impairments they recognize into two main categories: 1) adult impairments and 2) child impairments.

Within each of those categories are many subgroups of physical and mental impairments that allow one to qualify for social security disability benefits. There are 14 separate subcategories for adult impairments and 15 for child impairments.

The major “body systems” included are the:

  • Cardiovascular System
  • Digestive System
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • Genitourinary System
  • Hematological Disorders
  • Immune System Disorders
  • Mental Disorders
  • Multiple Body Systems
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Neoplastic Diseases (Cancer)
  • Neurological
  • Respiratory System
  • Skin Disorders
  • Special Senses (Vision and Hearing)

Each one of these body systems has certain recognized disabling conditions. If your medical condition matches, then you probably have a recognized impairment.

Commonly Recognized Impairments

The following illnesses and conditions are among the most commonly recognized. Although having one or more of them does not guarantee you will receive benefits, the overwhelming majority of people who apply with one or more of the following are considered to have had a “recognized impairment.”

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Emphysema Panic Attacks
Alcohol or Drug Addiction Fibromyalgia PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Anxiety Disorder Gout Rheumatoid Arthritis
Arthritis Hearing Loss RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)
Asperger’s Heart Failure Ruptured Disc
Asthma Hepatitis Schizophrenia
Autism High Blood Pressure Scoliosis
Bipolar Disorder Irritable Bowel Syndrome Seizure Disorder
Cancer Kidney Failure Sleep Apnea
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Liver Disease Stroke
Chronic Migraines Lupus/Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus Traumatic Brain Injury
Chronic Pain Lyme Disease Ulcerative Colitis
COPD Mesothelioma Vision Loss
Coronary Artery Disease Miscellaneous  
Crohn’s Disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS)  
Degenerative Disc Disease Neurological Disorders  
Depression Neuropathy/Peripheral Neuropathy  
Diabetes Organic Brain Syndrome  

Remember, just because your condition is listed, does not mean you will be entitled to social security disabilities benefits. Likewise, just because your condition is not listed here does not mean you will be precluded from collecting benefits. These are simply commonly recognized impairments that usually satisfy the second component of the five requirements for obtaining social security disability benefits.

Additionally, if the personal injury or mental impairment that you have is not included in the list of recognized impairments, all hope is not lost. If your impairment “meets” or “equals” one that is listed, you are still eligible to receive benefits.

One way to “equal” a listed impairment is by having a combination of impairments that are not severe enough on their own to award disability benefits, but when combined they are.

Ultimately, not every personal injury or mental condition will be considered “severe” enough to warrant the issuance of social security disability benefits. Make sure to consult with an experienced social security disability lawyer to find out if your condition makes you eligible for social security disability benefits.

Who Should You Contact? 

If you are in need of social security disability benefits, contact Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm. He is a licensed attorney in both New Jersey and New York and has a great deal of experience handling Social Security Disability matters. E-mail or call him today at 973-594-6552.