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Disability benefits are available for many medical conditions

A diagnosis of a serious medical condition can be an overwhelming point in anyone's life. It may leave the diagnosed individual unable to work as they face mounting medical bills and other financial struggles, while adjusting to life with their illness. For disabled Missouri residents diagnosed with a serious illness, Social Security disability (SSD) benefits may be one option to consider.

To qualify for SSD benefits for illness, the disabled individual must suffer from a severe disability that prevents them from working, or engaging in daily activities, and is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. The disabled individual must suffer from a qualifying physical or mental medical condition. The Social Security Administration provides a list of qualifying illnesses, divided by sections and includes some rare diseases, and also maintains a list of compassionate allowances for medical conditions that may be subject to expedited claims processing. Even if the disabled individual suffers from a medical condition not on the list, it may still be possible to obtain benefits.

In addition to a qualifying medical condition, applicants for SSD benefits must have the necessary work history, or credits, to qualify to receive SSD benefits for illness. The number of credits necessary depends on the age and work history of the disabled individual.

The claims process can be complicated. Because of the overwhelming importance of disability benefits for many individuals and their families, it is often helpful to work with an attorney who is familiar with the process. Knowing how to apply and navigate the claims process can be critical to a successful application for badly needed benefits.

Source: Rare Disease Report, "Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits with a Rare Disease," Bryan Mac Murray, March 4, 2017

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