Many people applying for Social Security Disability benefits are unaware of the criteria the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses to determine whether a claimant has a disability.
The SSA Blue Book has a listing of impairments that helps evaluators determine if an applicant’s condition qualifies for benefits. The Blue Book covers many of the most common mental and physical impairments for adults and children as well as many serious diseases the SSA may consider to be disabling.
Below, we discuss the Blue Book in greater detail to help give you a better understanding of what disabling impairments may qualify for benefits.
What is in the SSA Blue Book?
The Blue Book, as it is commonly called, contains a great deal of information about disabling impairments and the SSA’s criteria to help those applying for benefits.
The Blue Book is divided into three sections:
- Part I – General Information: This section briefly describes the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) programs, the SSA’s procedures for assessing claims, and the role of medical experts and professionals.
- Part II – Evidentiary Requirements: This section breaks down the types of documentation and medical evidence the SSA will require when making a disability determination.
- Part III – Listing of Impairments: This section details various impairments that meet the disability standard for adults (Part A) and children (Part B).
The impairments in the Blue Book are divided into several categories, including:
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system
- Endocrine disorders
- Genitourinary disorders
- Hematological disorders
- Immune system disorders
- Mental disorders
- Multiple body systems
- Musculoskeletal system
- Neoplastic diseases (cancer)
- Neurological disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Skin disorders
- Special senses (vision and hearing)
Am I Automatically Eligible if My Condition is in the Blue Book?
The short answer is no. You must do more than simply prove you have been diagnosed with one of the conditions listed in the Blue Book.
When you file an application, the SSA will work to assess the severity of your condition based on the documentation and medical evidence you submitted. Clinical or laboratory tests from your treating doctor may be required to show that your condition is acute enough to be considered disabling.
It is important to review what the Blue Book says about the condition you have been diagnosed with. It may help you and your treating doctor to provide the SSA with the evidence needed to validate your claim.
The Blue Book is a complex document. The intended audience is medical and Social Security Disability professionals, which is why many people find it confusing or difficult to read. A Social Security Disability lawyer in Green Bay can help you understand the terms used and gather the evidence needed to support your disability claim.
What if My Condition is Not Listed?
You may still qualify, but you must prove your condition meets the criteria for one of the listings in the Blue Book.
Get Help from a Qualified Attorney Today
A qualified attorney at our firm is here to help you every step of the way. We are well-versed in the disability determination process and how to meet the SSA’s definition of a disability. Claimants who seek legal representation may have a greater chance of being approved than those who do not.
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