The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that there are a variety of ailments that can prevent a person from being able to perform his work duties. However, the length and severity of a disabling condition play a significant role in the SSA’s decision to award benefits or not. In general, applicants fall into one of the following three categories:
- Minor injuries or ailments may be managed and the victim may be able to find different employment, making him ineligible for benefits.
- Short-term disabilities may only require a limited amount of disability benefits.
- Severe disabilities may prevent the inflicted from being able to do any type of work and thus require full benefits.
Separating the eligible from the ineligible is the difficult task the SSA faces. That’s where the SSA Blue Book comes into play.
The Blue Book is a guide to ailments that the SSA uses to determine eligibility based on how the severity of a condition affects the ability of the sufferer to work and provide for his family.
Blue Book Basics
Although the guidebook doesn’t include every factor for eligibility, it is a good reference to help determine if filing for disability is a viable option. The book includes specific illnesses and disabilities, explanations, and guidelines that the SSA disability panel looks for in an application when determining eligibility. These include:
- Condition type. The book contains a listing of different types of conditions (adult and child) that the SSA has investigated in the past and determined to be serious enough to warrant eligibility.
- Disability qualifications. The book explains how long an applicant must have had the condition to qualify and what types of symptoms the applicant must show.
- Proof of severity. In addition to the type of condition, the SSA panel looks for proof that the condition is as severe as claimed. The book goes into detail on what specific evaluations, records, and symptoms need to be included in the application in order to prove severity and need for benefits
Turning the Page on the Disability Application
Familiarizing yourself with the Blue Book is a good place to start when planning to pursue SSA disability benefits. However, before you get too far in the process, it would be wise to have someone with career knowledge of the book on your side. In other words, a dedicated social security attorney can not only help guide you through the application process, but he can ensure your application follows the requirements and guidelines of the book to a tee. Don’t risk a rejection because of a careless mistake. Allow us to help ensure your success by contacting us today!