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What are the SSD Medical Requirements?

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To meet the medical requirements for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you must prove that you have a medical condition that is severe enough to limit your ability to work.


A list of the most common impairments that are known to be severe enough to prevent someone from working are kept in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) handbook Disability Evaluation under Social Security (often referred to as the ‘Blue Book’). Having a condition in the Blue Book will automatically qualify you for disability benefits (granted you provide the proper support). However, not having a condition on this list does not mean that you are not entitled to benefits, it just means that you need to prove that you are unable to work and meet the medical requirements. In this circumstance, the examiner will review your medical records to determine if you can perform any type of work (the level of work you are capable of performing is often called the residual functional capacity, or RFC). If you are found unable to perform any work because of your medical condition, you will be granted a medical vocational allowance and approved for SSD benefits. According to the SSD guidelines that are laid out by the SSA, an applicant must gather medical documents to argue the legitimacy of their claim from acceptable medical sources such as licensed physicians, osteopaths, optometrists, podiatrists, speech pathologists, and other specialist.


Getting a medical statement from a doctor who has had a long history of being the your physician (to a date before the onset of the disability) will be extremely helpful to get the claim approved. Records from doctors that are currently treating your disability are very important since these physicians would understand the situation the best. The medical documents must contain evidence of the physical or mental disability and show how it prevents you from working. The evidence must also be up to date; meaning that lab tests and doctor’s note should be within the 60-90 day range. If the claim makes it to the hearing level, the presiding judge over the case is obliged to give due importance to the documents presented by a licensed doctor.


Medical reports that the claimant should have ready as evidence can be clinical findings, medical history, laboratory findings, diagnosis, prescribed treatments and associated prognosis, and a medical statement on the abilities you still obtain.