Applying for Social Security disability can be tricky – simply being diagnosed with a medical condition does not make you automatically qualified for benefits. The Social Security Blue Book, formally known as the Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, is documentation created by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that clearly lays out medical criteria used for determining if a person can receive disability for their medical condition or impairment.
What is the Social Security Blue Book?
The SSA Blue Book contains a list of specific criteria that must be met for disability benefits to be awarded. Now online and regularly updated, the “book” is broken up into three parts: general information, evidentiary requirements, and a listing of impairments.
General Information: An explanation of the SSA’s disability benefits program, as well as their process for reviewing and making decisions on claims.
Evidentiary Requirements: A review of the medical examinations and documentation, plus any other evidence used to make a determination.
Listing of Impairments: Details about the conditions or impairments that qualify for both adults and children, broken down by types of medical disorders or regions of the body impacted. For example, neurological, vision, heart, and so forth.
How the Blue Book Influences Your Disability Claim
The Blue Book is designed to clarify the medical information and evidence needed to proceed with a disability claim, with the goal being to prove that you are fully disabled according to the guidelines provided. The criteria in the Blue Book can help you understand what you need to support your disability claim, thus improving your odds of being approved for benefits.
If you have already applied and your claim has been denied, you can refer to the Blue Book to learn more about your condition’s criterion. Details such as the severity of impairment, which tests are needed to confirm an accurate diagnosis, and additional evidence needed can all be derived from the Blue Book.
That said, the SSA’s Blue Book wasn’t written for the public, so it can be technical and complicated. Working with a disability attorney and/or your physician – two parties who are well-versed in the SSA’s Blue Book terminology – can improve your chances of being awarded disability benefits.
Contact the Attorneys at Woodruff & Mathis
The Social Security Book Book can be a very valuable resource to help you determine whether or not you meet the requirements for receiving disability benefits. It’s always a good idea to consult with a disability lawyer about your claim to ensure you are meeting all requirements needed as outlined in the Blue Book to help your application get accepted. Contact us at Woodruff & Mathis to learn more!