When applying for Social Security disability benefits, you’re probably wondering which ailments you need to inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) about.
As a general rule of thumb, you only need tell the SSA about any medical condition (or combination of conditions) that interfere with your ability to work. This means your ability to show up for work on time on a consistent basis and carry out the tasks expected of you in a timely manner without frequent breaks or disruptions.
However, you should know that the health conditions must be medically determinable to be approved for benefits.
The SSA defines medically determinable as “an impairment that results from anatomical, physiological or psychological abnormalities that can be shown by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.”
Basically, you will not be approved for disability benefits based on statements alone. You must have medical records that confirm your symptoms.
For example, you can’t just report that you have chronic lower-back pain. You must have medical evidence confirming you are in pain and showing why, such as an X-ray demonstrating you have sciatica.
Mental health conditions can be trickier, but usually a diagnosis from a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, and psychological evaluation will meet the medically determinable conditions.
If you have any questions about which condition(s) you should include in your Social Security disability application, talk to your doctor or attorney. They would be the most qualified to let you know which health problems might qualify for disability benefits.