While Americans generally equate Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) with a devasting physical injury or resulting condition, that is often only a portion of the overall picture. Physical injuries, mental health conditions and illnesses might all require extensive medical treatment and limit an individual’s ability to maintain gainful employment. It is critical that people thoroughly understand their options when seeking benefits.
- Physical injuries: A serious injury can lead to chronic pain, loss of function or loss of sensation in a major body part or muscle group. Qualifying injuries can include traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, back injuries and spinal cord trauma. Depending on factors such as the position and type of trauma, injuries to the spinal cord can result in hemiplegia, paraplegia or quadriplegia.
- Mental health conditions: While people often equate physical injuries with SSD, mental health conditions can have just as devastating an impact. Individuals struggling with documented depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or other qualifying mental health conditions are likely eligible to receive benefits.
- Health challenges: Individuals might struggle with severe health issues that can prevent them from seeking gainful employment. These serious illnesses and health conditions can include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fibromyalgia, heart disease, asthma or Crohn’s disease.
Rather than seeking SSD or SSI benefits, many individuals simply choose to “power through” and struggle both financially and emotionally while trying to make ends meet. It is crucial that people recognize these benefits as the helpful programs they are and seek aid as soon as possible.