Physical Disabilities & Social Security Disability Benefits

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Living with a physical disability can be challenging, impacting your ability to work and sustain a livelihood.

At The Law Office of Gerard Lynch, we understand these challenges and are committed to helping individuals with physical disabilities navigate the complexities of achieving benefits.

Our experienced team is dedicated to advocating for your rights, and ensuring that you receive the benefits you deserve.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Form

The Most Common Types Of Physical Disabilities That Qualify

There are hundreds if not thousands of different types of physical disabilities that are listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. Unfortunately, even if you are a person with a disability that is outlined in this guide, you still must prove that it severely limits or prevents you from engaging in work and basic daily activities.

Among all applications for benefits, the most commonly listed among the physical disabilities include:

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders: These affect bones, joints, and muscles. Examples are arthritis and back injuries.
  • Cardiovascular Conditions: Diseases related to the heart, such as heart failure and coronary artery disease.
  • Respiratory Illnesses: Lung problems, including COPD and asthma.
  • Neurological Disorders: Issues with the nervous system, like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.
  • Sensory Impairments: Serious problems with hearing or sight.

Each condition in the Blue Book has rules that you need to meet to get SSDI benefits. Sometimes, a condition might fit into more than one category. For example, cerebral palsy or spina bifida could be in different categories. You can choose the category that best fits your situation and symptoms.

How To Qualify For SSDI With A Physical Disability?

While people with disabilities might have a specific condition that qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), medical evidence is the true key to earning these benefits.

Steps For The Application Process

  • Medical Documentation: Collect all your medical records that explain your disability.
  • Employment History: Share information about your past jobs and how your disability affects your ability to work.
  • Application Submission: Fill out and send in the SSDI form to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • Wait for Decision: The SSA looks over your form and medical details. This may include a meeting to see if your disability will last a long time or might lead to death.

Waiting times can be very long for most claimants. Many people wait around 6 months to a year to find out if they got approved for benefits.

Our team at Gerard Lynch Law Office will help you at each step, making sure your form is complete and covers everything about your health problems and work challenges.

My Condition Isn’t Listed Here Or In The Blue Book

If your physical disability is not specifically mentioned in the SSA’s Blue Book or the common conditions listed earlier, you still have a pathway to qualify for SSDI. The focus is on proving that your condition is “medically equivalent” to those listed, showing that it significantly limits your ability to work. This involves:

  • Gathering Detailed Medical Evidence: This includes all documentation related to your condition, demonstrating its severity and the limitations it imposes on your daily activities and work capacity.
  • Obtaining a Comprehensive Physician’s Statement: A detailed account from your treating physician describing your condition, its impact on your functional abilities, and why it prevents you from maintaining employment.
  • Functional Capacity Evaluation: An assessment that illustrates how your disability affects your ability to perform specific work-related tasks.

Understanding the Odds and Preparing for Potential Denials

It’s important to recognize that many SSDI claims, particularly for unlisted conditions, face initial denials. For context, in 2023, approximately 38.6% of SSDI applicants, including those with various health issues, were approved in the initial stage. This implies that more than 60% of applications were initially denied, highlighting the challenging nature of the SSDI application process.

Common Reasons for SSDI Claim Denial:

  • Insufficient Medical Evidence: One of the leading causes of denial is the lack of comprehensive, current medical records that adequately demonstrate the severity of the condition.
  • Non-compliance with Treatment: Applicants who do not follow prescribed treatment plans may have their claims denied, as it can be argued that their condition might improve with proper treatment.
  • Perceived Lack of Severity: If the SSA does not view the condition as severe enough to significantly impair your ability to work, the claim may be denied.

Applicants must be meticulous in filling out application forms and preparing for the possibility of an appeal. Understanding these hurdles is crucial in building a strong case for your SSDI claim.

At The Law Office of Gerard Lynch, we are adept at navigating these complexities and are committed to advocating for individuals with unlisted physical disabilities. We understand the nuances of the SSDI process and are prepared to help you gather the necessary evidence, complete detailed applications, and, if needed, guide you through the appeals process. Our goal is to ensure your case is presented well to maximize your chances of obtaining the benefits you need.

Appealing Your Application Denial

Denials are common, but not the end of the road. The appeal process includes:

  • Reconsideration: Your application is reviewed anew by a different examiner.
  • Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge: If your claim is still denied when it is reexamined, it can then be presented before a judge, appointed by the SSA.
  • Review by the Appeals Council: If denied again, the case can go to the Appeals Council.
  • Federal Court Review: As a last resort, we can take your case to federal court.

The appeals process can make your journey toward disability benefits even more difficult. If your claim is denied, you shouldn’t appeal it without legal support. Increase your chances for approval by hiring a trusted disability attorney, like those within the Law Office of Gerard Lynch. Our firm has extensive experience in successfully handling SSDI appeals and will stand with you at every stage.

Let’s Fight For Your Benefits

At The Law Office of Gerard Lynch, we don’t just handle cases; we fight for individuals. Navigating the SSDI process with a physical or mental disability can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face it alone.

Our dedicated team is ready to fight for your rights and work tirelessly to secure the benefits you need and deserve.

Contact us today for a consultation and take the first step towards securing your future.

Client Testimonials


This case was my first time hiring a lawyer but I am glad that the attorney I chose worked diligently with me to help me get the results I was looking for. I am confident in letting the law offices of Gerard Lynch handle my business when needed, and I will be contacting this office when or is there is another matter that I need handled. I, Alexander Foster, am very satisfied with the outcome of my case. The Law Office of Gerard Lynch and I worked together and we achieved the goal that we were striving for. I am so thankful.

Alexander Foster,

The best and foremost compliment I can give this firm is the fact that I didn't have to come in to the office and overall my case was handled very expeditiously. Thanks for a job well done on my behalf.

Kathy Brown,

We need more lawyers like Mr. Lynch with an understanding heart and mind. May God bless you and your staff. I enjoyed working with Mr. Lynch and thank you so very much.

M. Robertson,

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be disabled permanently to receive Social Security Disability (SSD)?

No you do not. A claimant needs to be disabled for at least 12 months or have a medical condition that is terminal or expected to lead to death. Sometimes a claimant is not disabled permanently but has a certain time frame in which they are disabled from working. For example, a claimant may get into a car accident, need to have multiple surgeries and is out of work for at least one year. That claimant can receive benefits for the period before he or she returned back to work.

It is possible but rare. In a SSD case, medical records are your evidence and that is the proof you have to show the SSA and an social security judge that you do have a severe medical condition that keeps you from working. If you do not have recent medical records, it is much harder to win a case. There is a possibility, though not common, that your case might be approved simply by going to a consultative exam that SSA sends you to, where a doctor gives you a physical or mental examination.

One benefit of working with our office is that we will look carefully at your case and if you do not have enough or current medical records, we can often give you information about low-income or indigent health services where you can go and get medical treatment for free or greatly reduced cost.

Our law firm, the Law Office of Gerard Lynch, only charges our clients if we win their SSD or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. We charge on a contingency basis, 25% of the backpay, a cap of up to $6000, awarded to a claimant when we win the case. The fees are regulated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If we do not win their case, we do not charge anything no matter how much work we have done. Once a client wins and their monthly checks begin, they will keep 100% of their checks.

Social Security Disability (SSD) comes from FICA taxes that are deducted from paychecks during the work history of a person. Every month that a person works and reports income to the government, taxes are deducted which are paid into social security. When FICA taxes are taken out of paychecks, most of it goes into the social security retirement fund. However, a smaller portion goes into the social security disability fund. People who become disabled over their lifetime and are not yet eligible to get their full age retirement benefits can get benefits from the disability fund. One difference between Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is that Social Security Disability (SSD) is like social security retirement – it does not matter how much money a person has or how many assets they have.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a different program for disabled people and it is like a form of welfare. Like food stamps, if you have too much money, assets or property, then you will be ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) even if you are clearly disabled. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for people who are either too young to have paid enough into the system or have not worked recently enough to receive Social Security Disability (SSD). The benefits given to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants come from the general US government fund. To receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a claimant has to be equally disabled to a person who receives Social Security Disability (SSD) – the standard for determining disability are the same. The only difference in deciding which claimant receives Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) comes from the amount of money paid into the social security system over one’s lifetime.