Those applying for social security disability (SSD) insurance may be nervous about whether the medical conditions they’re suffering from will qualify them for benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses its Listings guide to determine which conditions automatically qualify for benefits, and anyone seeking SSD can access this information to get an idea of whether their condition is one of those listed. Each condition is listed under a subheading, and the Listings of mental impairments, as well as physical impairments, are included there.

The following physical impairments are automatically compensable if the claimant can be shown to meet the SSA Listing:

Musculoskeletal Impairments

Any problems relating to bones, muscles and joints fall into this category. Back problems and other issues that involve the spine, joints or ligaments are common impairments that fall into the musculoskeletal category.

Cardiovascular Conditions

Heart problems such as coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure fall into this category. Ischemic heart disease is a broader term that includes heart attacks, and the cardiovascular category is a heading that contains many of the conditions applicants face.

Senses and Speech Issues

Hearing loss, low vision or legal blindness, glaucoma and other macular degenerative conditions affecting the senses are compensable impairments. If a persons speech is impaired, they may also be eligible for benefits under this category.

Respiratory Illnesses

These conditions include COPD illnesses like bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, or infections like pneumonia or tuberculosis. These conditions are among the most common in people who apply for SSD benefits.

Immune System Disorders

Those suffering from HIV, AIDS, type 1 diabetes, Graves disease, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease or even psoriasis can be eligible for SSD benefits. The SSA takes immune system disorders very seriously, and as with other conditions it will evaluate an applicants ability to perform vital life tasks to determine whether the claimant is disabled.

Skin Disorders

The skin conditions listed by the SSA as most likely to be disabling include ichthyosis, bullous disease, dermatitis, chronic skin infections, hidradenitis suppurativa, and photosensitivity disorders. Skin cancers fall into the cancer listings category, however.

Digestive Tract Problems

These conditions include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other digestive tract issues. The SSA recognizes that these conditions can severely impede a persons ability to maintain gainful employment, which is why they are included as qualifying impairments.


Some cancer diagnoses are automatic qualifiers for SSD, while others will require proof that the symptoms prevent the applicant from working. Cancers of the lungs, breasts, colon, stomach, prostate, pancreas, testicles, brain, uterus or ovaries, bladder and kidneys are typically automatic qualifying conditions. In some cases more than a simple diagnosis will be needed, and the stage of the cancer may be taken into account, as well.

Disabling Conditions Not Listed

Its important to remember that even conditions not included as an official Listing can still qualify for SSD benefits; the process may be lengthier but compensation can still be gained by the applicant for unlisted impairments.

Applying for SSD? If at any point you have questions about the SSD application process, or simply want an advocate to help ensure your application is processed correctly, contact a Social Security Disability lawyer at Goldberg Finnegan for a FREE review of your claim.

We can also appeal denied SSD claims to help you get the benefits you deserve.

Take the first step today! Fill out our online evaluation form or call Goldberg Finnegan Law at (888) 213-8140.