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May Question of the Month

May 15, 2017

I have more than one medical problem.  Will SSA consider all of my medical problems, or do I have to select one?

People with illnesses or injuries that prevent them from being able to work often suffer from multiple conditions which impact their health. In many cases, the impact of all of these conditions, in combination, prevents the individual from being able to function and sustain work.

When deciding a case for disability benefits, if the applicant has more than one medical condition, the Social Security Administration (SSA) regulations require it to consider the combined impact of all the individual’s impairments. It cannot just evaluate each medical condition separately. This applies to both physical and mental conditions, and even a combination of the two. For example, a diagnosis of diabetes alone may not qualify a person for disability benefits; however, if other conditions, which often accompany diabetes, are present — such as high blood pressure, skin infections, and depression — SSA must consider how the combined effects of diabetes, high blood pressure, skin infections, and depression affect that person’s ability to hold a job.

We advise our clients to include in their application for disability all impairments or medical conditions that might affect their ability to work, even those that may seem minor. As is always the case with applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) it is not the medical impairments themselves that qualify you for disability benefits, but the how your conditions affect your ability to function in daily life and to perform work-related activities.

People often do not understand which impairments are most important to their claim—and that not all impairments are created equal. 

Do you have multiple medical conditions and are considering applying for disability benefits? If so, you can contact us at Nash Disability Law for a free evaluation of your situation.