If There’s No Cure For My Condition, How Can Social Security Deny My Disability Claim?

June 4, 2024

The National Institutes of Health says there are an estimated 7,000 diseases that affect human beings, and of those only a bit more than 500 are considered curable (with treatments that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

“As you can imagine, given those statistics, at our disability law firm we see many people who are coping with incurable diseases,” notes Nash disability attorney Dan Rosen. “Often these clients will ask us a very understandable question: ‘There is no cure for my condition. How could Social Security deny my disability claim?’”

“The short answer is that barring some uncommon exceptions, the diagnosis of a particular condition or conditions does not automatically qualify a person for SSDI or SSI,” Dan says. “To qualify for disability benefits, a person’s medical conditions must prevent them from doing any work that results in substantial gainful activity (SGA).”

(SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance, which is the type of benefits available to people who worked and paid enough taxes into the system to qualify. SSI, for Supplemental Security Income, doesn’t require a work record, but does require that your economic resources are low.)

Dan says, “To prove you have a disability that qualifies for benefits, under Social Security’s rules, at a minimum you must prove you are incapable of earning more than $1,550 per month performing your past work and in many cases, any work in the national economy due to your health problems. This standard is different, higher, and much more specific than an inability to work full-time, an inability to work in your field, or an inability to earn enough to support a certain standard of living.”

In the United States, roughly 133 million people, or 45% of the population, have at least one ongoing and incurable chronic disease like  asthma, Crohn’s disease, diabetes or any of the 7,000 incurable diseases.

Most of these Americans manage their condition so they can work and earn more than the SGA amount. That is why having an incurable disease, in and of itself, is not sufficient to qualify for disability benefits.

The path to winning Social Security Disability benefits is complex and difficult to navigate. If you are unable to work due to a physical or mental impairment and are considering applying for disability benefits or if you have been unfairly turned down for benefits, you can get a free evaluation of your case from the disability lawyers and professionals at Nash Disability Law.

It is easy to get started, so take that first step and contact us today. If you work with us to fight for your rights to disability benefits, we only get paid when you win your case.