SSI Disability Qualifications

For adults, the SSI disability qualifications are listed by the U.S. government’s Social Security Administration. SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is need-based, while SSDI requires a certain number of work credits – the person has to have worked a certain number of years in a job from which his or her payroll tax went to cover Social Security costs.

Those SSI qualifications for disability benefits are very specific, and are detailed in documentation from the Social Security Administration. The Administration updates the list every year, and our offices may close attention to these updates whenever they are issued. The conditions that qualify you for SSI disability benefits may change, and the category under which your situation is grouped may change too.

Each type of condition is categorized with very specific limitations. If a patient has a condition that crossed into multiple categories, he or she should choose which category is most relevant to focus on — for the purpose of SSI disability qualification, it helps to focus on one category rather than multiple ones.

Supplemental Security Income Medical Conditions

Here are some of those medical conditions:

  • Senses and speech issues, such as vision and hearing loss – this does not necessarily need to be legal blindness or legal deafness. This could be the severe diminution of close-range vision due to diabetes, or severe cases of tinnitus. If you have had a stroke and it has affected your ability to speak clearly, this may be the category for your condition as well.
  • Digestive tract problems, such as liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Crohn’s disease. Many gastro-intestinal disorders can qualify in this category. Hepatitis, given that it impacts liver function, can fall into this grouping.
  • Respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, mesothelioma, and cystic fibrosis. These respiratory illnesses do not need to be linked to worker’s compensation to be considered valid and coverable. It is often the case that another injury creates the side effect of worsening a person’s respiratory issues. Respiratory issues related to COVID-19 may be included here too.
  • Neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer disease, and epilepsy. ALS, or amyotropic lateral sclerosis, is a disease of the nervous system that would find its listing in this group.
  • Mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, or intellectual disability. Traumatic brain injuries can make a person qualify in this category, regardless of how the injury happened or how long ago it happened.
  • Cardiovascular conditions, such as chronic heart failure or coronary artery disease. People who have suffered heart attacks or who deal with high blood pressure would qualify in this category.
  • Musculoskeletal problems, such as back conditions and other dysfunctions of the joints and bones, including Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
  • Blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease or hemophilia. Septicemia, septic shock, and other conditions in which the blood pressure fails may be included here.

For children, the list of qualifying medical conditions is very similar, but also includes growth impairment. For a full list of impairments for both adults and children under the age of 18, please visit

Since benefits are directly tied to conditions specifically in that list of qualifications, it is very important that your particular situation lines up with one of those qualifying conditions. Any claim that is not linked to a specific line item could be rejected by the Social Security Administration.

If you have an impairment that is not on the list, you still may qualify for SSDI or SSI. Your medical condition must be supported by clinical reports – that is, it must be the subject of laboratory testing, and considered a “medically determinable impairment.” Just because your situation does not fall neatly into the listed qualifications for SSI disability benefits, that does not necessarily mean you cannot successfully argue your case.

If you have questions about your health situation, and how it may impact the benefits for which you may be eligible, please contact us. Our legal team has a great deal of experience with these cases, and we are happy to share our knowledge with you.