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Does My Impairment Qualify Me for Social Security Disability Assistance?

Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC April 19, 2023

Benefits from the office of Social Security can be a lifesaver if you find yourself suffering with a disability. However, not all who suffer qualify for assistance. Before you apply, you should learn all you can about the rules governing this program. To start, look at what impairments qualify as disability.

Disabilities by Age

Currently, conditions that qualify for disability differ for those under and over eighteen years of age by some degree. Impairment of ones of ability to function plays heavily into the evaluation. In adults, your issue must prohibit you from any gainful activity, plus most on the list are permanent conditions or expected to result in death.  For children under the age of 18 the impairment must be severe enough to cause limitations to their ability to function. In both cases the condition must be continuous for at least 12 months.

Two Lists of Impairments: Parts A and B

The list under Part A mostly pertains to the evaluation of adults 18 and over, and what adult conditions can qualify for disability. This medical criteria must apply to their condition to evaluate impairment. In cases where the disease behaves similarly in children, these criteria can be used on their evaluation, as well.

Part B contains an impairments list to use in evaluation those under 18. Its role is to provide guidance around disease and conditions unique to childhood, or that behave differently in the populations.

Part A: Adult Medical Criteria






Musculoskeletal Disorders

Major join abnormality; Amputation; Pathological Fractures


Skin Disorders

Ichthyosis; Bullous Diseases; Dermatitis

Special Senses & Speech

Statutory Blindness; Loss of Speech; Acute Hearing Loss


Endocrine Disorders

Pituitary Gland Disorders; Thyroid Glad Disorders

Respiratory Disorders

Chronic Bronchitis; Emphysema; Pulmonary Fibrosis


Multiple System Congenital Disorders

Non-Mosaic Downs Syndrome

Cardiovascular System

Chronic Heart Failure; Myocardial Ischemia


Neurological Disorders

Epilepsy; Cerebral Palsy; Multiple Sclerosis

Digestive System

Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage; Hepatic Liver Dysfunction; Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Mental Disorders

Schizophrenia; Depressive & Bipolar Disorders; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Genitourinary Disorders

Chronic Kidney Disease; Nephrotic Syndrome


Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)

Skin Cancer; Lymphoma; Leukemia; Breast Cancer; Lung Cancer

Hematological Disorders

Both Non-Malignant & Malignant Hematological Disorders


Immune System Disorders

Systemic Lupus; Polymyositis

Part B: Childhood Disability for Those Under 18

The list in Part B for disorders follows the same impairments, as listed in Part A. Certain diseases and disabilities exist in children under the age of 18 make Part B necessary, and you can find a breakdown of those differences here. The biggest difference between Parts A and B:



Low Birthrate & Failure to Thrive

This is measured by BMI, Growth Measurements and Developmental Delays

My Health Issue Is on The List. Now What?

So you’ve found your impairment or that of your loved one on the list, that means you’ll get disability. Right? The answer is that meeting the criteria to apply is only the first step of a multi-step approval process. Conversely, if you do not find your issue on one of the lists, don’t give up. In this case you may need an expert to guide you straight to the second step and apply other rules to your claim. Hiring a Social Security disability lawyer to represent your interests could be a wise investment at this point. Contact the attorneys at Wykoff & Sikes for more information.