Nearly 70 percent of initial Social Security disability applications are denied. There are many reasons for these denials—from an improperly filled out form to a missed deadline—but a common reason is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) makes the determination that you are not actually disabled. The SSA provides various tools to help applicants determine if they meet disability qualifications. One such tool is the Listing of Impairments, also known as the Blue Book.
What Is the SSA's Blue Book?
While the listing is now completely electronic, it was once published annually with a blue cover, giving it its nickname. On the SSA’s website, you will see a listing of 14 categories of disability. Each category provides a detailed explanation of what the SSA considers to be a disabling form of the particular conditions that fall under that category. Currently, the following body systems and functions are listed:
- Musculoskeletal system
- Special senses and speech
- Respiratory disorders
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system
- Genitourinary (kidney) disorders
- Hematological disorders
- Skin disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems
- Neurological disorders
- Mental disorders
- Immune system disorders
It is not enough to just have your medical condition listed here; you must also meet the standards of severity, duration, and debilitating effects that are listed in each subsection. For example, the skin disorder psoriasis is listed under section 8.05 Dermatitis, but your psoriasis must produce extensive skin lesions that persist for more than three months despite continuing treatment as prescribed and your symptoms (including pain) must limit your ability to perform work. The Listing of Impairments also provides examples of the kinds of evidence you will be expected to produce in order to prove your disability.
Just as having your condition listed here does not automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), NOT having a condition listed does not automatically disqualify you. If you can prove that your condition—despite not being included in the Listing of Impairments—has the same effect on you as another listing, you can qualify for benefits.
Our SSDI Attorneys Can Help
The SSA’s Listing of Impairments is a detailed, complicated document. It is very difficult for a non-medical person to understand all of the requirements for qualification included here. When you work with one of Keller & Keller’s Social Security disability attorneys, however, you will get the help you need to determine your eligibility and secure the evidence you need so that your application is accepted the first time. Call our Albuquerque office to schedule a free consultation today.