Who Is Medically Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

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The application process for collecting Social Security disability benefits can be a confusing one. Knowing how to tell if you are eligible for Social Security disability can help you get started on the path to collecting your benefits. To find out more about qualifying medical conditions and whether or not your condition falls into this category, you'll need to know about Social Security Administration's Blue Book. 

What is the Blue Book?

The Blue Book is the unofficial name of the Social Security Administration's guide to medically disabling conditions. The official name of the Blue Book is the "Disability Evaluation under Social Security." The most recent Blue Book is now available exclusively online. You can see a copy of the Blue Book yourself by looking at the Social Security Administration's website. The Blue Book divides medical conditions into adult and childhood afflictions and provides general information about Social Security Disability. 

If you have a medical condition that appears in the Blue Book, are you guaranteed Social Security benefits?

No. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires a complete evaluation of each person who applies, and benefits are granted on a case by case basis. During the evaluation, the following determinations must be made:

  • Whether or not the patient's condition appears in the Blue Book. 
  • Severity of the condition.
  • Whether or not the patient is able to retain employment given the circumstances. 

What if your condition doesn't appear in the Blue Book?

People who have a condition that does not appear in the Blue Book may still apply for benefits. The SSA still takes into account the severity of the patient's condition and whether or not the patient is able to retain employment given the current circumstances. 

If you have a qualifying disability but are turned down for benefits, what are the next steps?

Applicants who are turned down may appeal their case. The SSA will require updated medical information including a list of new medicines the applicant is taking, procedures the applicant has undergone since the application was first submitted and updated reports from the patient's doctors.

Some people find this system difficult to navigate on their own. In cases like this, the best course of action may be to speak with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. He or she will be able to provide guidance during the application process. For more information about how a skilled attorney can help you, talk to one like LeCroy Law Firm, PLLC