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What conditions does the SSA consider automatically disabling?

The Social Security Administration has outlined mental and physical health conditions which they consider automatically disabling in their handbook called the “Disability Evaluation under Social Security,” but it is more commonly referred to as the “Blue Book.”

According to the , this handbook has been specially prepared “to provide physicians and other health professionals with an understanding of the disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration.”

The SSA Disability Evaluation under Social Security handbooks lists all of the major body systems and the symptoms a claimant must display to be automatically considered disabled. It is the assumption of the SSA that if a claimant has a condition (which is as severe as the condition listed) they would be unable to work for at least 12 continuous months.

What if your condition meets or exceeds a listing?

“Meeting a listing” in the SSA Blue Book is the fastest and easiest way to win either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI). Keep in mind, meeting just part of the listing or having the condition but not having symptoms which are as severe as the listed disease or condition will not be enough to win SSI or SSDI benefits.

How is the SSA Blue Book organized?

The SSA Listing of Impairments is separated into Part A and Part B. Part A is generally for adults, although certain mental or physical health conditions may also apply to children who are less than 18 years of age if the Social Security Administration decides that the disease or condition may affect adults and children in the same manner. Part B of the Blue Book is used to evaluate the conditions of children under 18 years of age

I am working, how does this affect my disability claim?

Many SSI or SSDI claimants do not understand what the SSA means by the term “disabled”. If you are working and making too much money ($1,000 per month in 2011 for non-blind individual) the SSA will consider you not disabled, regardless of the severity of your mental or physical health condition.

Claimants who are not performing substantial gainful activities (SGA) and who have a disability which meets or exceeds a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments or Blue Book will be automatically be determined disabled by the Social Security Administration, assuming they have met all the non-medical criteria for either the SSI or SSDI benefit programs.

What if my mental or physical health condition does not meet a listing?

Claimants who have a mental or physical health condition which is not listed in the SSA Blue Book or whose condition does not fully match the listed condition will have to prove that they are disabled and unable to work by proving they cannot work their current job, any past relevant work, or retrain for new work due to their reduced capacity to work. This is called a medical vocational allowance.

The SSA will consider not only the medical condition of the claimant but also their age, their educational background, and their transferable work skills when determining if they qualify for SSI or SSDI using a medical vocational allowance.

Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you would like a disability attorney to review your claim you can fill out the FREE evaluation form and a disability advocate will call you to review your claim or you can call our office at 1-800-641-3759 to talk to someone now.