The Social Security Administration (SSA), has a long list of impairments that can qualify for disability benefits. The best way to find out for sure what qualifies, is to read through the SSA’s impairment listing manual, which is often referred to as the “Blue Book.” The things that make it into the listings are varied from all over the spectrum of ailments that people are suffering from.
To be included in the “Blue Book” an impairment must cause a person to no longer be able to work, or maintain substantial employment. It’s not an easy task to prove that the onset of an ailment has caused a person to be unable to perform the work they were doing, or to show that they can no longer find other meaningful work.
What’s in the “Blue Book”
The “Blue Book” is broken down into two main sections; adult and child impairments. Under each of those sections, the book is broken down further into the regions or systems of the body that are afflicted by known disabling impairments. From there, the listing will have the criteria necessary to show that the disability qualifies for the standard the SSA is able to provide benefits for.
To meet a listing it’s important to know all the details required by the SSA. If you meet the criteria, have the symptoms and can show that it has affected your life and livelihood, then you should expect support from the SSA. To show that you meet the listing, it’s best to have a discussion with your doctor or physician to make sure they have the evidence documented that you would need to supply to the SSA.
What are the “Blue Book” Categories
Currently, the “Blue Book” has 14 different categories that adult disabilities fall into, and 15 categories for children. They spread from skeletal problems, mental disorders, digestive issues, immune system disorders and cancers to just about anything else you can imagine. While there are certainly an abundance of listings, that doesn’t mean that the “Blue Book” has every disability written inside of it.
If you have a disabling issue, and it doesn’t have its own specific listing in the “Blue Book” that doesn’t mean you can’t apply for benefits still. Often it just takes comparing it to a similar listing, and providing enough evidence to show that the condition you have is just as disabling as the existing listing.
How to Apply to the SSA for Disability Benefits
If you have found your condition in the listing of impairments, and are fairly certain that you qualify for disability benefits, then the best course of action is to start collecting information. You’ll need medical records, statements from caregivers, employment information and more to present your case adequately.
To start with, see what the listing requires you to meet. Work closely with your doctor to evaluate the condition appropriately, with as many notes about the impairment, and how it adversely affects you as possible. From there read through the application process for the SSA, and determine what type of benefit you can apply for.
Speak directly with the SSA when you provide the application, to ensure that everything they may need or want has been included. Leaving anything out will likely lead to a rejection, and then subsequent appeals to try and receive the benefit that should be paid to you. For many people the task can be made simpler and less stressful by finding a certified Social Security attorney to help collect information and file the appropriate forms and applications on your behalf.
To see all of the listings for yourself, check out this link (click here) to go to the SSA’s web page that includes the entire “Blue Book” online. If you find and meet a listing to qualify for disability benefits, then start the application process as soon as you can, to ensure you start receiving your support as swiftly as possible.