If you are disabled, you may find yourself wondering if your particular condition will qualify you to receive Social Security Disability benefits. It’s an important question to ask – and one which will depend in large part on your condition itself, the severity of that condition, and the way it affects your day-to-day life and ability to work.
The Social Security Impairment Manual – What is it and Why Does it Matter?
The Social Security Administration has an impairment listing manual, commonly referred to as the “Blue Book” which lists both physical and mental impairments that will automatically qualify an individual to receive SSDI benefits, as long as the medical condition meets the criteria that are outlined in the listing.
There are a few disabilities listed in the Blue Book that will qualify those who are diagnosed with an automatic disability approval. Those conditions include:
- ALS (also known as Lou Gherig’s Disease);
- Those who have received organ transplants;
- Certain very serious cancers.
It is important to remember, however, that to be approved for SSDI benefits, you may not have to satisfy the precise listing requirements for a certain condition. Social Security also awards benefits in instances where they determine that the condition is “medically equivalent” to the criteria in a listing.
For the majority of other conditions, a diagnosis is important, but it will not be the only evidence that the Social Security Administration will review. Typically, they will also want to determine whether your particular condition meets the specific criteria. This will often mean a more thorough review of your medical records and other evidence.
Qualifying Vocationally for Benefits
In other situations, an applicant may not have a condition that meets or equals the listing criteria, but can nevertheless establish that the condition they have limits functioning to such a degree that work is impossible. In those cases, Social Security will examine the effect of the particular condition on an applicant’s ability to work, and they will investigate whether or not there is any type of job that the applicant could safely do.
Many conditions are not specifically listed in the Blue Book– degenerative disc disease and carpal tunnel syndrome being only two examples of many – but may be approved as a basis for benefits if it can be established that they prevent the applicant from working a full-time job.
Ultimately, to be approved for benefits that are not included in the Blue Book, the condition must:
- Be a medically determinable impairment; and
- Reduce the applicant’s ability to function to such a degree that they can no longer work.
To put your best foot forward and present the best case for receiving benefits, consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney will be essential.
Call The Clauson Law Firm Today
If you have a medical condition that has rendered you disabled and for which you believe you may be qualified for benefits, you need to contact a knowledgeable and experienced SSD Lawyer as soon as possible. A Clauson Law, we are that team. We know and understand Social Security Disability law, and we’re here to guide you through the process of applying for the benefits you need and deserve. Don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here for you, and we’re ready to help.
Francis Babet loves pursuing excellence through writing and has a passion for Legal. He currently writes for The law Firm, a USA Based Law Firm that provides SSD, SSI, SSDI, Personal Injury, and Drugs and Devices. His work has been published on various sites related to Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income and more.