Congress requires, through the Social Security Act, that SSA must consider you as a whole person– If you have multiple impairments (disabilities), the effect of the combination of these conditions must be taken into consideration in determining whether you are disabled. Thus, if you suffer from a severe back impairment, which has resulted in depression and anxiety (How will I support my family?) the impact of both the physical and mental conditions must be taken into consideration.

Also, if you have, for example, a breathing disorder, coupled with heart disease, or an auto-immune disease coupled with arthritis, all of the various medical problems are relevant in establishing your disability. Therefore, you should be sure to discuss with your attorney all of your medical problems, even if one of them by itself may not be disabling. The combination of the impairments may make it impossible for you to work. Similarly, if you are off work because of a work-related injury, but also suffer from a non-work-related impairment, the combination of these must be considered by SSA in determining if you are able to return to work or are disabled.