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Does your medical condition qualify you for SSDI?

This might just be the most often asked question regarding whether a person is eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The problem is that even if your medical condition is not specifically on the Social Security Administration's (SSA) list, it might still be enough if it relates to another condition. Even if that is not the case, a New Jersey resident still may be able to qualify for benefits if the condition is a medically determinable impairment. Confusing, right?

What is on the Listing of Impairments used by the SSA?

The Listing of Impairments is divided into functions or systems of the body, as follows:

  • Immune system disorders
  • Mental disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Blood disorders
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Digestive tract issues
  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Sense and speech issues
  • Respiratory illnesses

If your medical condition is found within the Listing of Impairments above, you can move on to the next criteria, which is the "Residual Functional Capacity" (RFC) test. Your RFC is the most demanding task your medical condition allows you to perform. A claims examiner could also put you through a battery of tests to determine your physical capacity, such as bending, climbing and lifting, among other day-to-day physical activities.

What happens next?

You will then be required to provide medical proof of your condition through documentation, such as medical records, x-rays and lab results, among other things, to the SSA. The medical evidence should indicate that you are unable to perform your work duties because of the severity of your condition. It is important to remember that any documentation you give to the SSA must be current and will need to cover from when you first became disabled to the present time. Determining what constitutes the best evidence that you suffer from a qualified medical condition is not always as easy as simply handing over your medical records.

As you can see, the process can be a challenge, and if the SSA is missing even one document, your claim for benefits could be denied. It would be beneficial to involve a New Jersey attorney because this process can be quite complex and frustrating. It would help to have someone on your side who is compassionate and knowledgeable, yet who will also take the time to explain the obstacles you may face along the way.

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