Does SSA Qualify Dwarfism as a Disability?
People with dwarfism are eligible for Social Security disability benefits in certain cases. However, an adult cannot qualify simply on the basis of their height, but instead must present evidence that they have a severe medical condition or conditions which prevent them from working. To be approved for disability benefits, applicants can either show that their condition is listed in the Blue Book published by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and meets the requirements of that listing, or provide medical evidence of significant limitations on work-related tasks. In some instances, children may qualify for SSI benefits due to short stature or failure to thrive.
How Do I Get Approved for Benefits with Dwarfism?
Individuals with dwarfism cannot rely on the single adult listing of short stature in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, as the condition can be caused by a wide range of issues. Therefore, it is important to identify and meet the specific listings for related medical conditions. Common listings that applicants can use include spinal stenosis (Listing 1.16), abnormality of a hip, knee or shoulder joint (Listing 1.18), cervical joint issues with neck pain (Listing 1.15 or 1.18), issues following hip or knee replacement surgery (Listing 1.17), ankylosing spondylitis (forward bending of the spine) (Listing 14.09), breathing problems and recurrent lung infections (Listing 3.02), low vision and blindness (Listings 2.02-2.04) and hearing loss and deafness (Listings 2.10-2.11).
To qualify under these listings, individuals need to have sufficient difficulty walking – such as needing a wheelchair, walker or two canes – that they cannot function normally day to day without assistance; they must also provide recent medical evidence from their doctor detailing diagnoses, type of dwarfism and limitations caused by their short stature/related medical conditions, along with imaging tests like X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, as well as genetic testing results if necessary.