Am I Qualified for Disability if I Have a Rare Disease?

Doctors have confirmed your diagnosis, and now your life may change forever. If your rare illness means you will not be able to continue working for a year or more, you will have to figure out a way to pay your bills. In addition, there are likely to be constant medical expenses related to your condition, including cost-prohibitive prescriptions and doctors who specialize in your rare disease. With no income and your regular bills to pay, you may have reached a point of despair.

Did you know that if you have worked and paid a certain amount into the Social Security system, your illness may qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance? These monthly payments will help supplement your needs and pay for your care. However, applying for the benefits is complicated and often frustrating.

Rare diseases in the SSDI system

For most illnesses, you will need to provide the SSA with an official medical diagnosis. In some cases, the SSA will also require other proof of your condition, for example, medical tests. Rare illnesses are listed on the SSA website and are categorized by anatomical system, for example:

  • Musculoskeletal
  • Cardiovascular
  • Neurological
  • Immune system

Under each category is a detailed description of the symptoms the SSA will consider in evaluating your claim. These are the guidelines by which the agency will determine if your disability meets their standards.

SSDI may also cover your disability if it is related to certain rare mental disorders, for example:

  • Schizophrenia or other psychotic illnesses
  • Anxiety ailments
  • Personality disorders
  • Autism

It is not unusual for your claim to be denied the first time, especially if your particular illness is not on the SSDI list. This may mean you will have to submit more evidence and lobby for your cause.

Save your strength for your health

After receiving a diagnosis of a disabling disease, the last thing you want to do is to spend your energy fighting with the Social Security Administration. You are unable to work, and those benefits are essential to you and your family. Whether the agency has already denied your claim or the application process intimidates you, having an advocate may ease your mind.

A Michigan attorney with a history of success representing clients before the SSA can tackle the complicated process for you. Even though the SSA makes the application procedure frustrating and complex, your attorney will carry the burden for you. While you strive to make the most of your situation with your illness, your attorney will strive to obtain for you the benefits you need.