The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a list of impairments that are used throughout the disability process. This list, often referred to as the “Blue Book,” outlines the specific impairments, both physical and mental, that are used to determine eligibility. Many of those who apply for Social Security disability aren’t familiar with the Blue Book, allowing our Denver disability team to step in and help.
Explaining the Blue Book
The Blue Book outlines in detail the requirements that a judge uses to determine whether or not an impairment qualifies. Note that the official name of the book is Disability Evaluation Under Social Security. As conditions are approved, they are also added to this list. In the book includes two main parts: Part A is about adult disability assessments and Part B is about childhood disability assessments. In order to qualify, you must match all the requirements of a listing, and then you’ll qualify for disability regardless of whether or not you can work.
Within these two major sections, there are further sub-sections that outline more specific types of disabilities. The following major body systems are addressed: musculoskeletal, special senses, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, genitourinary system, hematological disorders, skin disorders, endocrine disorders, multiple body systems, neurological, mental disorders, neoplastic diseases (cancer), and immune system disorders. Under each major body system, the book has a list of disabling conditions.
How the Blue Book Can Help Your Case
Applying for Social Security disability can be intimidating, especially if you are trying to handle the process all on your own. To help improve your chances of obtaining disability benefits upon your first attempt, rely on my staff and me to help you throughout the entire process; from obtaining the right evidence to answering your questions to helping you prepare for your court date, our team will be there for you every step of the way!
Another way to improve your chances is by utilizing the Blue Book to your advantage. With any injury or ailment, there are varying degrees of severity. You can utilize the Blue Book as a guide to determine how severe the symptoms, clinical findings and lab tests for any given impairment need to be. If your symptoms meet the most severe symptoms listed, you’ll be given an automatic approval. If not all of your symptoms are as severe as what the Blue Book lists, the SSA will go through a longer process in order to determine whether or not you are capable of working on a full time basis.
If You See Your Disability is Listed
If you see your disability listed in the Blue Book, you may have a difficult time determining whether or not your symptoms are severe enough to meet the book’s criteria. You may need help from a doctor to help determine if you meet these standards, as they are often difficult to understand. Talking to your doctor at this point can help you get additional laboratory tests done that are mentioned in the listing.
Evaluating Your Condition
The disability claims examiner will look at your impairment and compare it to the listing. If the two don’t match, they will determine whether the impairments could be considered equivalent to a different listing in terms of severity. The SSA accepts “equal” listings because it is impossible for them to outline every variant of all conditions. The agency is also aware that there is more than one way to diagnose and document the same illness.
A Combination of Impairments
A second way to “equal” a listing is by suffering from a multitude of different impairments that don’t qualify on their own, but combined, are severe enough to equate to a listed impairment. If you have already been denied once, my staff and me can work with you to help improve your chances and argue your case.
The Book Doesn’t List All Impairments
Keep in mind that it would be impossible for the Blue Book to list all medical and psychological conditions. You simply need to prove that your impairments limit your functionality to the point that you can no longer work.
How Thomas Feldman Can Help
Thomas Feldman Feldman is a Denver disability lawyer who will dedicate his time to helping you win your case. He understands that this is an extremely stressful time for you and uses his knowledge and experience to develop a strategy for your case. Are you ready to take advantage of your free case consultation? Contact us today!