A serious medical condition may allow you to file for Social Security Disability benefits. You need to prove, however, that you no longer have the ability to perform any type of work.

Various conditions may allow you to file a claim for SSDI benefits, but the Social Security Administration could deny your application for several reasons. If, for instance, you have not worked long enough and paid into the fund through your taxes, you may not qualify.

Can a condition fail to qualify as severe enough?

The SSA may have reviewed your application and determined that your condition is not severe enough to prevent you from working. A condition that makes it hard to bend, walk or lift heavy objects is a sign that you may not have the ability to work at your current job, but if you could perform less strenuous work, you may not qualify for SSDI benefits.

If the SSA determines your injury or illness will affect you for less than a year, it may deny your claim. An approval for benefits requires having a severe enough condition that will also last for at least 12 months or result in death.

When can I file an appeal?

If you receive a denial of your claim, you may file an appeal. However, you must file your appeal within 60 days from when you receive your denial. The processing times can prove lengthy. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, some claimants have waited as long as two years to receive a decision at the appeal level. The GAO found that the average wait for the fiscal year ending 2017 was about 600 days.

Can a secondary condition affect my application?

The SSA may have overlooked a secondary condition, which in combination with your primary condition would result in a severe enough impairment for you to receive benefits. If a physical disability also resulted in a serious mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, you may need to show additional medical records to prove your eligibility.