You can qualify for a disability allowance by meeting the criteria for a listing in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book of impairments. Alternatively, you can receive a medical-vocational allowance. This requires you to prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you have a medically determinable impairment that keeps you from sustaining gainful employment.
No matter which method you use to qualify, you must be totally disabled to be eligible for a disability allowance. A Social Security disability lawyer from the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC can build a compelling case for why you deserve a disability allowance. We work with clients all over the country and have a strong track record of getting them the benefits they deserve.
To schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our team, call our office today at 866-628-8179.
How to Meet the Criteria for a Blue Book Listing
Meeting a Blue Book listing is the most straightforward way to qualify for a disability allowance. But it is not the easiest.
To meet a Blue Book listing, you must have a diagnosis for a condition listed in the book. Second, you must meet every criterion listed under that condition. These criteria are often confusing and difficult to satisfy. For instance, many require you to present lab test results showing numerical values that fall into precise ranges.
The Blue Book contains sections for the following types of impairments:
- Musculoskeletal ailments (e.g., back injuries)
- Cardiovascular conditions (e.g., heart disease)
- Sensory issues (e.g., vision loss, hearing loss)
- Respiratory ailments (e.g., asthma, COPD)
- Neurological conditions (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy)
- Mental illnesses (e.g., schizophrenia, anxiety)
- Immune system disorders (e.g., HIV/AIDS, lupus)
- Skin ailments (e.g., dermatitis)
- Digestive ailments (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome)
- Kidney disease
- Genitourinary ailments
- Blood disorders (e.g., anemia)
If your condition does not appear as a listing under one of these categories, then you have a couple of options. One, you can argue that while your condition does not “meet” a Blue Book listing, it “equals” a Blue Book listing. That is, it impairs your functional capacity in the exact same way as a specific Blue Book condition would. The SSA grants disability allowances to applicants whose conditions equal a Blue Book listing.
If you cannot meet the criteria in one of the ways above, you can apply for a medical-vocational allowance, the process of which the next section describes.
How to Apply for a Medical-Vocational Allowance
Even if your condition neither meets nor equals a Blue Book listing, you may still be able to qualify for disability benefits. The SSA allows you to apply for a medical-vocational allowance. This allowance is for people who cannot meet or equal a Blue Book listing but who have legitimate disabilities that keep them from sustaining gainful employment.
To receive a medical-vocational allowance, you must prove you are unable to work. And just being unable to return to your most recent job will not cut it. The SSA will look back through your work history. If it finds previous jobs it feels you can return to without undue hardship, it may not grant you a disability allowance.
What is more, the SSA may even look at your education and unique skills and try to match you to available jobs you might not have done before. If it finds a job it thinks you can do, it might deny you benefits.
The Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) Test
One tool we can use to increase your chances of getting a medical-vocational allowance is the RFC test. This test offers an objective measure of your functional impairment. Even better, you can visit your own doctor for the test. The doctor will observe you and fill out the RFC based on their observations. Your doctor can even add a personal observation or statement to bolster your claim.
If the SSA is considering approving your claim but wants more evidence of your impairment, it might require you to take an additional test called an FCE, or functional capacity evaluation. This test measures similar criteria to the RFC, only a doctor of the SSA’s choosing, rather than your doctor, administers the test and fills out the evaluation.
Call 866-628-8179 Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Social Security Disability Attorney
The Social Security disability lawyers at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC want to help you get approved for a disability allowance. We will help you put together a thorough, compelling claim. For a free case evaluation with an attorney, call us today at 866-628-8179.