The SSA does not just arbitrarily decide which conditions are considered severe enough to merit Disability benefits and which are not. The system actually has a Social Security list of disabling conditions called the “Listing of Impairments” and are contained in the publication called the Blue Book. The Blue Book’s official name is “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security”.

While the last hard copy version of the Blue Book was published in 2008, the online version is continuously updated.

 

 

What does the Social Security List of Disabling Conditions Contain?

The Social Security List of Disabling Conditions contains exactly what it says – a list of disabling conditions that qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

 

 

The Social Security List of Disabling Conditions

The Social Security list of disabling conditions is not a complete list

 

What makes this list so important is the way it is designed. Each entry in the list contains the name and a general description of the condition. More importantly, the list also gives in great detail the kind of proof you will need to submit to show that you have that particular condition. It is a really exhaustive list of all documents/evidence you will need to supply when you file for Disability.

Most of the impairments listed here are either permanent or will eventually result in death. In those few cases where neither apply but the impairment is considered severe enough to be eligible for SSD, a specific duration of the disability is mentioned.

The Blue Book is divided into two parts –

This section of the Social Security list of disabling conditions outlines the types of medical specifications used to assess the type of disability in adults (those above the age of 18). However, if the disease has the same impact whatever the individual’s age, then the same criteria are used to evaluate the disability.

This list outlines the yardsticks for assessments of medical conditions in children under the age of 18.

The latest version of the Social Security list of disabling conditions in the Blue Book was effective from January 17, 2017.

 

 

The Impact of the Social Security List of Disabling Conditions on the Application Process

The criteria mentioned in the Social Security List of Disabling Conditions only applies to one step in the whole Disability application process. It is used during the Disability Determination Stage of the application process. If the condition you have is listed there and meets all the conditions outlined, then it is enough to establish that you do have a disability because of which you cannot participate in any substantial gainful activity.

What needs to be remembered is that this list is not a complete list. So just because your medical condition is not mentioned in the list of disabling conditions doesn’t mean that you are not eligible for Social Security. Just as long as you meet the definition of disability as outlined in the Blue Book, you will still be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.  

 

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