List of Disabilities Accepted by Social Security

Updated March 23, 2017

The Social Security Administration reports that approximately three out of 10 adults who are 20 years old will experience a condition that qualifies as a disability. Unlike other federally administered assistance programs, Social Security benefits are for long-term disabilities. There are a number of disabilities that qualify Americans to receive Social Security benefits.


If you are examined by a licensed physician and determined to be legally blind, you can receive Social Security benefits. Your dependent children can also receive benefits if they are legally blind. Check with the state where you live to see if it will give you additional financial support for the disability. You and your dependent children must meet qualifying income levels to receive the benefits.

Musculoskeletal Disability

Severe bone or joint deformity, burns, fractures and amputated limbs can qualify you to receive Social Security benefits. The disability can be hereditary, due to metabolic diseases or caused over time by traumatic or developmental conditions. You must experience extreme pain or be unable to walk or function normally. A spinal examination is usually conducted to determine the extent of the disability.

Immune Disorders

Damage to your antibodies, cellular deficiencies and impaired phagocytes are immune disorders that the Social Security Administration lists as a qualifying disability. Infections associated with the illness must be recurring. You must also respond poorly to treatments. Types of immune disorders include inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine, Lyme disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

Cardiovascular Disease

Chronic cardiovascular disease or chronic heart failure qualifies you to receive benefits. If you have vein or artery disease or disorders you might also qualify to receive long-term Social Security benefits. Conditions must be recurrent or persistent. Records from your medical treatments will be reviewed by the Social Security Administration before a determination on your status is reached. Typically, cardiovascular diseases must have existed for at least 12 months before you qualify to receive benefits.

Renal Failure

Renal or kidney failure automatically qualifies you for Social Security benefits. Chronic diabetic nephropathy, massive organ swelling and bodily fluid overload are conditions that are tested to determine if you have renal failure. Bone softening and/or deformity are other conditions that are checked for.

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