The Disability Blue Book: Is Your Condition Listed?

Disabled person in a wheelchair

Having a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s eligible listings may help Social Security Disability Insurance applicants receive the benefits they need. When people develop disabling medical conditions that keep them from working, they may apply for SSDI benefits. The SSA bases part of its disability determinations for awarding such benefits on applicants’ medical conditions and the associated impairments they experience as a result. To fix the standards under which the agency may award SSDI benefits, Social Security lists the eligible conditions in the Blue Book’s listing of impairments.

Evaluating Medical Conditions for Disability

The listing of impairments in the SSA’s Blue Book describes disabling medical conditions and the criteria under which each ailment may qualify for SSDI. The listings include conditions affecting the cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, musculoskeletal and other major body systems, as well as genitourinary impairments, hematological disorders, immune system disorders and malignant neoplastic diseases that may cause impairments that affect people’s abilities to work. Some of the most common Blue Book listings include:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Heart failure
  • Sickle cell disease or chronic anemia
  • Epilepsy
  • Renal disease
  • HIV

The Blue Book also lists conditions such as asthma, herniated discs or degenerative disc disease, fetal alcohol syndrome, various forms of cancer and certain mental illnesses.

Qualifying for Benefits with a Listed Condition

Applicant’s who suffer from listed conditions that meet the necessary criteria may have improved chances of qualifying for SSDI. To determine if people meet the medical listings, Social Security reviews their submitted medical records. During this review, the SSA seeks to ensure applicants experience the severity of symptoms, have undergone the applicable laboratory tests, have received the necessary clinical findings and have impairments that are expected to last at least one year or result in death.

Qualifying for Benefits without a Listed Condition

Applicants with conditions not listed in the Blue Book may still qualify for SSDI. When applicants suffer from conditions severe enough to interfere with their ability to work, and their conditions have been well documented, Social Security may still grant disability benefits. The SSA may base such determinations on whether applicants have medically determinable impairments which reduce their residual functional capacity to the point they can no longer perform their jobs or any other type of work.

Social Security Disability

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