The Blue Book is a list of physical and mental health conditions created by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA references this list when determining whether or not an applicant is truly disabled. There are over 100 conditions listed in the Blue Book. But, what happens if your disability is not included? Will the SSA automatically reject your application? Here’s what you need to know:
The Basics of the Blue Book
Each condition within the Blue Book is accompanied by specific criteria that people must meet in order to qualify for disability benefits. For example, burns are listed in the Blue Book as a disabling physical condition. However, this does not mean that the SSA believes all burns are disabling. The listing states that burns are only disabling if they result in extensive skin lesions that last for over 12 months. If your condition matches this description, the SSA considers you disabled. This means your application for benefits will be approved as long as you meet the other eligibility requirements.
Obtaining Benefits For Conditions Not Listed in the Blue Book
Do not make the mistake of assuming you cannot obtain benefits simply because your condition is not listed in the Blue Book. If your condition is not listed in the Blue Book, you will need to prove to the SSA that it is medically equivalent to a condition that is listed. This means proving that even though your condition is not listed, it is just as severe as a listing in the Blue Book, so it should meet the SSA’s definition of disabling.
For example, let’s say you have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. This condition is not listed in the Blue Book, however Autism, which is similar in nature to Asperger’s, is listed. To obtain benefits, you will need to prove that your condition is equally or more severe than Autism.
It is important to provide as much evidence as possible to the SSA if your condition is not listed in the Blue Book. Help the SSA understand why your unlisted condition is just as severe as the 100+ conditions outlined in the Blue Book. If you fail to provide enough proof, you may not get the disability benefits you need.
Don’t make the mistake of applying for Social Security disability benefits without an attorney’s help. Contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. to learn how our experienced attorneys can assist with the application process. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.