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Adult Disability Impairments

Social Security Disability Insurance (also known as SSD, SSDI, DIB, or Title 2) and Supplemental Security Income (also known as SSI or Title 16) are two Federal programs that assist individuals who have disabilities. Both programs are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). To receive benefits from either program, you must meet the Social Security definition of disability. There are different ways of determining whether a condition is disabling depending on whether the applicant is an adult or a child. This information relates only to Adults.

In order to meet Social Security's definition of disability the condition has to have lasted at least 12 months, be expected to last at least 12 months, or be expected to result in death. Additionally, the condition must prevent you from working. A partial or temporary disability does not qualify.

Disabilities - called impairments - are divided into 14 categories based on body systems. They can be found at Social Security's website.

The categories of Adult Disability Impairments include congenital conditions such as birth defects, as well as disabilities from injuries, cancer, blindness and a variety of other medical problems. The list of Adult Disability Impairments is broken down as follows:

1.00   Musculoskeletal System
2.00   Special Senses and Speech
3.00   Respiratory System
4.00   Cardiovascular System
5.00   Digestive System
6.00   Genitourinary Impairments
7.00   Hematological Disorders
8.00   Skin Disorders
9.00   Endocrine Disorders
10.00  Impairments that Affect Multiple Body Systems
11.00  Neurological
12.00  Mental Disorders
13.00  Malignant Neoplastic Diseases
14.00  Immune System Disorders

The SSA website goes into great detail about each category of disability. It describes musculoskeletal impairments, for example, and explains what loss of function is and how that qualities you for disability. It also describes the sort of diagnostic testing required to allow SSA to make a determination about whether you are disabled. The musculoskeletal impairment section goes into detail about such issues as an inability to walk. To qualify for disability based on a problem with walking, you must be unable to walk without assistive devices such as crutches, a cane or a walker, or be unable to walk because you can't use your arms for an assistive device such as crutches.

Each impairment listing is equally as detailed and the diagnostic tests mentioned should be noted by the claimant and his or her treating medical provider so the most responsive tests and diagnosis tools can be given to the patient and the results sent to Social Security.