How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits with a Rare Disease

If you think that you don’t qualify for Social Security disability benefits because you have a rare disease, think again. There are actually many rare diseases that do qualify someone to receive disability benefits. If you have worked in the past but you can’t work now because you have a rare disease that will make it impossible for you to work for at least 12 months, you can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits. The money from Social Security disability benefits can be a lifeline for anyone that can’t work because of a rare medical condition.

Qualifying For Social Security Disability Benefits with A Rare Disease

After you file a claim for Social Security disability benefits the SSA will have to examine your claim and your medical records to decide if you meet their requirements for disability benefits. There are more than 200 medical conditions that qualify someone to receive disability benefits. All of those conditions are listed in the SSA’s Blue Book. You can look through the Blue Book on the SSA’s website to find out if your condition is listed there. If you have a rare disease, it may not be listed in the Blue Book, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be eligible for disability benefits.

Which Rare Diseases Qualify For Disability?

You may be surprised at how many disorders that are considered rare actually qualify for disability benefits according to the Blue Book. For example, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and cystic fibrosis all have Blue Book listings. Duchenne muscular dystrophy even qualifies for the Compassionate Allowance program. If your disorder is on the Compassionate Allowance, it will automatically qualify for disability. The SSA will flag your claim for benefits and will get pushed to the front of the line for processing so that you will receive your approval and benefit money fast. 

If your condition isn’t listed in the Blue Book you can try to get a medical vocational allowance exception. To qualify for disability benefits through the medical vocational allowance exception your doctor needs to fill out a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation form. On this form your doctor should write in great detail what your symptoms are and how they limit your ability to work.

The SSA will look at the RFC and your medical records as well as your age, skills, and work history. If they can’t find any type of work that you’d be able to do with your physical limitations and skills then you will be eligible for disability benefits.

What Do You Need To Include With Your Claim?

When you file a claim for disability benefits you should include the claim forms, an RFC if you have one, and all of your medical records. Medical records are very important because they will prove that you meet the SSA’s requirements or prove that you need a medical vocational allowance. Include your diagnosis as well as things like X-rays, blood tests, MRIs, PET scans, treatment notes, and statements from doctors, social workers, or other medical professionals that have treated you. 

How to Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits

You can apply for Social Security disability benefits online through the SSA’s website. Or, if you need help with your claim, you can make an appointment at your local SSA office and someone there will help you.

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