Conditions that may qualify as disabling impairments include muscular and bone dysfunctions, respiratory and mental health disorders, heart diseases, and disorders of the digestive, blood, endocrine, neurological and genitourinary systems, among others. A disabling condition must preclude any gainful activity, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration.
Certain congenital disorders, such as down syndrome, disorders of the skin or immune system, and various cancers, may also qualify as disabling impairments because they impede gainful activity. The Social Security Administration's listing of impairments does not cover every medical condition, as noted by the Social Security Disability Resource Center, and medical records do not always provide sufficient information for a determination. The critical factors in identifying a disabling impairment, regardless of the actual medical condition, is whether or not an individual can continue working at her prior level of employment and can successfully perform any other available work given the limitations of her specific condition.
A list of disabling impairments for children under the age of 18, which is structured similarly to the adult list, also includes growth impairments, and it is also available from the Social Security Administration. To be considered an impairment, a condition must severely limit a child's functional abilities.