Is a Disability Keeping You From Working?


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Commonly Rejected Disabilities for SSI

There are many reasons why your Social Security Disability Insurance claim may be denied, and less than 1/3 of all applications were awarded benefits in 2015. The reasons for a denial may be technical or medical. In recent years, technical denials have been increasing, but 20% of all claims still end with a medical denial. Below are 5 common medical conditions that are typically denied SSDI benefits.


Although depression is the most common, non-fatal medical cause of disability, it is still a rarely accepted condition for benefits and requires evidence of severe impairment. For some individuals, their depression may be so severe that it can inhibit their ability cope and function in everyday life, including family and work activities. The SSA provides a list of symptoms, and if an individual with severe depression also experiences at least four of the listed symptoms on a recurring basis, they may be approved for SSDI benefits. However, most cases are not severe enough to qualify someone for disability benefits.


Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is not usually a qualifying disability for SSDI benefits, even for individuals who perform manual labor and may be more at risk. The primary reason for this is because many cases of hypertension can be controlled with drugs which lower blood pressure to normal risk levels. Therefore, the impairment is not typically considered severe enough to qualify for SSDI. There may be certain cases that do qualify, for example if a patient does not respond to treatments or they are unable to take the normally prescribed medication due to other complications.

Impaired Vision

Nearsightedness and farsightedness, while potentially disabling, are both usually correctable with glasses or contact lenses, and therefore would not usually qualify for SSDI. However, the causes of vision impairment can vary widely, and certain complications, like severe macular degeneration or other retinal diseases which can’t be improved with corrective lenses, may be awarded SSDI benefits.

Adult Eating Disorders

Adult eating disorders can be a serious affliction, and they affect millions of American each year. However, in most cases, adult eating disorders do not qualify for SSDI even though both anorexia and bulimia are listed as disability conditions for those under 18. In some cases, an adult may qualify if their eating disorder causes severe symptoms similar to other qualifying disabilities. For instance, adult eating disorders can cause other problems such as heart failure and arrhythmia, or lead to increased fractures or broken bones. These conditions may allow someone to be awarded benefits. Additionally, someone may qualify for an equal disability listing such as weight loss due to a digestive disorder, but because it is not technically a digestive disorder, it is usually not accepted on its own and it typically requires that the applicant is currently seeking treatment.

Short-term Injuries

One of the main qualifying factors for SSDI is the length of time your disability will last. For example, someone with severe anxiety or depression may qualify for disability because it can be an ongoing disability with no end in sight. On the other hand, an individual with a severe injury, such as a broken neck or spine, may not qualify for disability if they are expected to recover in 12 months or less. Even if the individual was in a hospital for a few months and was unable to attend work, they may not be considered sufficiently disabled to receive benefits.

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