Impairments and Disabling Conditions

People who are filing for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits should be aware that there is a book maintained by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that lists impairments. Applicants who suffer from a listed impairment may have an easier time when applying for benefits, but it is important to note that benefits may be available for people who suffer from an unlisted condition. Legal professionals with experience handling SSDI cases can help individuals understand the SSDI Blue Book and how it applies to their situation.

The SSDI Blue Book

The SSDI Blue Book lists all of the impairments that the SSA recognizes as disabilities. Detailed information is included with each listing to clarify the types of symptoms and complications that are common for each condition. Anyone who has been diagnosed with a disability that is listed in this book will receive an automatic approval for benefits from the SSA if their symptoms are severe enough.

Impairments listed in the SSDI Blue Book are divided into two sections. Section A is dedicated to conditions that affect adults, and Section B is dedicated to conditions that affect children. These sections are broken down to address conditions affecting certain systems of the body, and individual conditions will be listed according to the system of the body in which they fall.

The systems of the body that are included in the SSDI Blue Book include:

– Musculoskeletal
– Vision and Hearing
– Respiratory System
– Cardiovascular System
– Digestive System
– Genitourinary System
– Hematological Disorders
– Skin Disorders
– Endocrine Disorders
– Multiple Body Systems
– Neurological
– Mental Disorders
– Cancer
– Immune System Disorders

Each condition is accompanied with information related to how severe symptoms must be in order for a person to receive an automatic approval for benefits. There may be criteria associated with the condition that a person must meet before being approved.

Common Impairments

Certain impairments are more common that others on SSDI benefit applications. Some of the most common impairments are listed below. Qualifying for SSDI when suffering from one of these impairments depends on the severity of the condition. An SSDI lawyer can help individuals understand if they are eligible to receive benefits.

– Anxiety is the most common mental disorder cited when people apply for SSDI benefits. People who suffer from anxiety must prove that they have persistent anxiety that either results in a constant, irrational fear or causes frequent panic attacks. These individuals must also show that their condition keeps them from living a normal life and limits their ability to function in social situations.

– Diabetes can cause serious complications in certain individuals. People who can control their diabetes with medication and dietary changes will not be approved for benefits, but people who, even with treatment, experience uncontrolled diabetes that requires hospitalization or surgery may be eligible for SSDI.

– Depression is a common reason for people to file for benefits, but the listing related to this mental disorder requires the condition to be severe and debilitating in order for a person to qualify for SSDI. Depression must be ongoing and cause complications including sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, feelings of hopelessness, fatigue and concentration problems.

Other common ailments listed in the SSDI Blue Book include cancer, epilepsy, post traumatic stress disorder, arthritis and asthma.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.