We Serve Clients Throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware & Maryland.
cancer patient lying in a hospital bed

The Most Common Conditions That Qualify for Disability

What to Know When Applying for Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability application process can seem like a never-ending struggle to feel heard, seen, and validated. Since the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a five-month waiting period for benefits from the date your disability started, there are several requirements and other things during the application process that you may find useful to know.

Knowing which conditions frequently qualify and how you could make the process smoother may lessen the stress that can inevitably come with applying for these benefits. Read on to learn more.

Which Conditions Frequently Qualify?

While there is no one disability that is 100% guaranteed to qualify, there are a few physical and mental conditions that are frequently seen and approved in the application process.

Top 3 Physical Conditions

The top three physical conditions that qualify and are often accepted by the SSA are:

  • Cancers
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Cardiovascular disorders

Although these conditions can vary in severity, it is crucial to know the impact that they can have on one’s health to understand why they are qualifying conditions.


According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 39.5% of people will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. And with a fatality rate of 158.3 per 100,000 people, it is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

Because of the potential severity and costs associated with a cancer diagnosis, many forms of it are listed as “Compassionate Allowances Conditions (CAL)” on the SSA website. This means that undergoing cancer treatment may expedite your application process. You can learn more about Compassionate Allowances here.

Multiple Sclerosis

An estimated one million people in the United States are living with multiple sclerosis, a disease in the central nervous system that causes significant damage to the brain, spinal cord, and eyes. MS can come in many forms, and since the cause of it is unknown, symptoms can largely be unpredictable. As such, multiple variations of this condition have made the Compassionate Allowances list.

Cardiovascular Disorders

Cardiovascular disorders like congestive heart failure, heart disease, and arrhythmias (to name a few) are all likely to qualify for disability because of the impact they can have on your day-to-day functions.

There are two main categories that a cardiovascular disorder may fall under for SSA application review: ischemic heart disease or chronic heart disease, depending on your diagnosis.

Top 3 Mental Conditions

Many people don’t realize that mental health can also have debilitating effects on your ability to perform job functions. However, SSA uses “mental disorders” as a broad umbrella term for 11 categories. Among these, the three most common conditions that qualify are:

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Personality and impulse-control disorders
  • Mood disorders

Here is what you need to know.

Autism spectrum disorder

Children and adults living with autism spectrum disorder generally have an easy time applying for and receiving disability benefits. With an estimated 5.4 million people in the United States having ASD, many require lifelong support and services, as their speech and physicality can be greatly affected.

Personality and impulse-control disorders

Often classified by the behaviors or patterns of an individual, personality and impulse-control disorders can be categorized in various ways, including paranoid, schizoid, and obsessive compulsive. Two of the main reasons these disorders qualify has to do with “an excessive need to be taken care of” and “difficulty making independent decisions,” according to the SSA.

Mood disorders

While they are more well-known as “mood” disorders, the SSA has a stand-alone category for what they call “depressive, bipolar and related disorders.” The effects that having one of these can have on a person’s ability to be interested in or enjoy their job often leads to a decline in their functioning. Although it is unclear how many people in the United States are actually living with one of these disorders, an estimated 16.2 million adults suffer from a depressive episode annually and about 2.3 million people have diagnosed bipolar disorder.

It is not uncommon for many of these mental disorders to manifest themselves in physical ways as well. As such, there are stipulations for which SSA categories apply to certain disorders. If you are diagnosed with a physical or mental disorder and are wondering if you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, working with an experienced SSDI attorney can help ease the process.

How Our Pennsylvania Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Help

Rubin & Badame, Attorneys at Law, P.C. has over 35 combined years of experience helping clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland through the Social Security application process. Our team understands the time-consuming stress and frustrations that may come with an initial claim being denied and are standing by to help you obtain the money you are entitled to.

If you are seeking Social Security Disability benefits and want the help of an experienced, qualified attorney, call (610) 595-4917 to get in touch with a member of our team.