Types Of Disabilities

When applying for disability benefits, you will be evaluated based on the severity of your disability and on your ability to do any type of work. As part of that evaluation, the Social Security Administration keeps a manual called the “Listing of Impairments.” This manual contains a list of different disorders and disabilities, organized by body system (i.e. muscles, heart, brain, or digestive system).

Each listing contains medical criteria and their effect on a person’s ability to work. If your disability or disorder is not listed in the Listing of Impairments, your condition will be compared to a similar disability that is found in the Listing. While there are a few key differences between adult and child claims, the categories for disabilities are generally the same.

Below is an explanation of the disability categories. If you do not see your disability listed, that does not mean we cannot help you. If you would like to know whether we can help you based on your disability, contact us to find out more.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

These disorders primarily affect bones, major joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and other soft issues. These disorders can result in nerve problems, but are not mostly neurological (neurological disorders are their own category). This category can include soft tissue damage and major bone fractures.

Entries include lumbar spinal stenosis, major joint abnormalities, serious bone fractures and amputations.

Mental Disorders

This particular category is split into 11 sections: neurocognitive disorders, psychotic disorders, mood disorders, intellectual disorders, somatic symptom and related disorders, personality and impulse-related disorders, autism spectrum disorder, neurodevelopmental disorders, eating disorders and trauma/stress-related disorders.

Entries include schizophrenia, depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, autism, intellectual disability and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cardiovascular System

Disorders that affect the heart, veins, arteries, capillaries, and lymphatic drainage. Entries include chronic heart failure, ischemic heart disease, recurrent arrhythmias, congenital heart diseases, aneurysms, and arterial diseases.

Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)

This category covers cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases), further categorizing them by the body system they originate from.

Entries include leukemia, lymphoma, sarcoma, mesothelioma, carcinoma, melanoma and other forms of cancer.

Neurological Disorders

Disorders in this category affect brain function and cause limitations in physical and mental functioning. Entries include epilepsy, stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and other neurological disorders.

Digestive System

Disorders in this category include gastrointestinal hemorrhage, chronic liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, short bowel syndrome, and malnutrition.

Genitourinary System

Disorders in this category are those that result in kidney disease. Entries in this category include chronic glomerulonephritis, hypertensive nephropathy, diabetic nephropathy, chronic obstructive uropathy, hereditary nephropathies and nephrotic syndrome due to glomerular dysfunction.

Hematological Disorders

This category includes blood disorders such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, hemophilia, thrombocytopenia, myelodysplastic syndromes, aplastic anemia, granulocytopenia, and myelofibrosis.

Blood disorders related to cancer are in the Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic) category.

Skin Disorders

The skin disorders in this category may be present from birth, inherited from parents, or appear later in life. This category is split up into the following sections: ichthyosis, bullous diseases, chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, genetic photosensitivity disorders, and burns.

Endocrine Disorders

Endocrine disorders include conditions that cause hormonal imbalances. Abnormal gland function results in the overproduction or underproduction of a specific hormone, leading to bodily complications. Affected glands include the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, and pancreas.

Entries include diabetes, hyperglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, chronic hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

Congenital Disorders Affecting Multiple Body Systems

These disorders are present from birth and affect more than one body system. Entries include non-mosaic Down syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease, trisomy X syndrome (XXX syndrome), fragile X syndrome, phenylketonuria (PKU), caudal regression syndrome, and fetal alcohol syndrome.

This category also includes other congenital anomalies, chromosomal disorders, dysmorphic syndromes, inborn metabolic syndromes, and perinatal infectious diseases.

Special Senses and Speech

This category primarily deals with the loss of sight, hearing or speech. This category can also include tinnitus, loss of balance, general vision impairments and hearing impairments (with or without treatment by cochlear implant).

The criteria for “substantial gainful activity” is slightly modified for blind individuals applying for Social Security Disability Insurance.

Respiratory Disorders

These disorders result in difficulty breathing or issues with diffusing gas across cell membranes in the lungs. Entries include asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, lung transplants, respiratory failure and chronic respiratory disorders.

Immune System Disorders

Disorders included in this category affect one’s ability to recover from various illnesses and can cause dysfunction of bodily tissue and damage to other body systems.

These disorders may include autoimmune disorders, immunodeficiency disorders and HIV infection.

Find Out If You Qualify

If you are unable or no longer able to work due to a disability, you should get
the benefits that you need. Get a free case review today.

Complete our form below or call us at 833-MY-DISABILITY .