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Can multiple illnesses boost one’s chance for SSD benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides financial aid to those who cannot work due to a debilitating illness. There are numerous qualifying mental and physical disabilities, including depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, cancer and diabetes. Ohioans suffering from more than one illness may improve their chances of getting Social Security disability (SSD) benefits by listing all their impairments when applying.

To qualify for SSD benefits, applicants must meet the SSA requirements outlined in the “Blue Book.” Generally, SSD benefits are awarded to those who have a medical condition that prevents them from working for at least a year or that is expected to result in their death. Information regarding an applicant’s medical condition, work history and citizenship must be provided for evaluation by the SSA. The medical requirements are notoriously stringent, and many initial applications are often denied.

However, applicants suffering from multiple illnesses may improve their chances of qualifying for SSD benefits if they list all their illnesses on their applications. Although the Blue Book contains listings of many different disabilities and the requirements for each, the SSA recognizes that not all applicants will be able to qualify on the basis of just one medical condition. Rather, the SSA will consider the combined effects of all listed illnesses to determine whether they meet the necessary severity level for approval.

Applicants may also be approved through a residual functional capacity (RFC) analysis. Upon providing information related to everyday tasks through the completion of additional questionnaires, the SSA will evaluate applicants to see if the combined effects of their conditions prevent them from working. Therefore, applicants may increase their chances of qualifying for SSD/SSI benefits by listing all their illnesses and describing how each one contributes to their inability to work.

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