The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of conditions that might qualify you for disability benefits. This list, commonly referred to as the Blue Book, applies to applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The Blue Book lists qualifying medical conditions in groups based on the bodily system affected. Appearing under each condition is a list of criteria you must meet to get approved for benefits. Typically, these criteria involve specific diagnoses, medical evidence, or lab test results.
If you have a condition listed in the SSA’s Blue Book, a disability attorney can help you go over the requirements for getting approved and work with you on gathering the evidence you need to meet the listing.
It is important to remember, though, that failing to meet a Blue Book listing does not necessarily prevent you from getting benefits. In fact, many disability recipients receive approval based on a medical vocational allowance [In Progress: link to https://www.socialsecuritylawcenter.info/frequently-asked-questions/what-is-the-medical-vocational-allowance-for-social-security-disability-and-ssi-cases/], not a Blue Book listing.
To schedule a free consultation with a disability attorney who can review your situation and help you determine if you qualify for disability benefits, call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, today at 866-628-8179.
How Does the Blue Book List of Impairments Work?
When the SSA first created the Blue Book, it was actually a physical book. Each year the SSA updated the list of conditions and the criteria to get approved for each condition. As of 2018, the SSA no longer prints physical copies of the Blue Book, but it keeps the list updated on its website.
The Blue Book has several sections that correspond to different types of ailments. Within each section is a list of medical conditions for which you can get approved for benefits, as long as you meet the criteria listed under the condition itself. Therein lies the challenge for most applicants. Even if you have a valid diagnosis of the condition in question, it can still be challenging to meet the criteria to the SSA’s satisfaction.
What Conditions Does the Blue Book Include?
The Blue Book is extensive and features hundreds of individual conditions. The list groups each condition by body system. The following types of medical conditions all have sections in the Blue Book:
- Musculoskeletal conditions;
- Cardiovascular conditions;
- Speech and sensory issues;
- Respiratory ailments;
- Immune system ailments;
- Digestive problems;
- Neurological disorders;
- Blood conditions;
- Genitourinary disorders;
- Endocrine problems;
- Skin conditions;
- Congenital disorders;
- Cancer; and
- Mental disorders.
Under each heading might appear dozens or more specific conditions. Under each condition, there are several medical criteria you must meet to get approved for that ailment. We can review the Blue Book listing for your diagnosed condition with you and let you know what to expect.
What Are the Criteria to Meet a Blue Book Listing?
The criteria for a particular listing can vary greatly based on the condition itself. Usually, each listing features a combination of diagnostic criteria, including specific values that must be present in a lab test. It might stipulate how long you must have had the condition—or how long your doctor must expect you to have it. Some Blue Book conditions have only a few criteria to meet a listing, while others have 10 or more.
What Happens If I Do Not Meet a Blue Book Listing?
If you do not meet a Blue Book listing, then you are like the vast majority of applicants who get approved for disability. Rather than seeking approval via the Blue Book, we can instead argue that your condition renders you unable to work. The SSA provides a medical vocational allowance to applicants who do not meet the criteria of a Blue Book listing but are otherwise able to prove they are fully disabled.
To receive a medical vocational allowance, we can complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) test. Your doctor fills out this exam, which offers an objective analysis of your functional limitations, whether they are physical, mental, emotional, or a combination of the three.
The RFC is effective because it is specific and relevant to your line of work. If you cannot climb stairs, the RFC notes this fact. If you have a cognitive impairment that keeps you from focusing on a task, the RFC measures the degree of this impairment.
We can explain the process of qualifying for a medical vocational allowance and help you prepare your application before you submit it to the SSA.
How Can I Set up a Free Disability Attorney Consultation Today?
To get started on the application process for disability benefits, call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, today. We offer free consultations. Let us help you get the benefits you deserve. Call 866-628-8179.