The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains what is known as a "Listing of Medical Impairments" (sometimes called the “blue book”) that is used to determine if a person qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If you have a medical condition that is on the SSA's Listing of Impairments, you are typically considered disabled and might be eligible to receive SSA disability benefits. Even if your specific medical condition does not appear on the list, you might still be eligible for disability benefits under other SSA guidelines. Below, we tell you about the impairments that can qualify you for SSDI benefits.
List of Approved Impairments
The SSA's Listing of Impairments is broken down based on bodily system or function. There are separate lists for adults and children under the age of 18. The list used for children is very similar to the one for adults. Growth impairment is the only medical condition that is covered for children, but isn't covered for adults.
Medical conditions that can qualify you for SSDI benefits include:
- Musculoskeletal Problems: Like back conditions and other dysfunctions of the joints and bones
- Senses & Speech Issues: Like vision and hearing loss
- Respiratory Illnesses: Like asthma and cystic fibrosis
- Cardiovascular Conditions: Like chronic heart failure or coronary artery disease
- Digestive Tract Problems: Like liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Neurological Disorders: Like multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease, and epilepsy
- Blood Disorders: Like sickle cell disease or hemophilia
- Mental Disorders: Like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, or intellectual disability
- Immune System Disorders: Like HIV/AIDS, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and kidney disease
Medical evidence that can be used to prove your disability claim includes:
- A Doctor Examination
- CAT Scan
- Treatment Notes or Reports
- Mental Health Records
- Blood Work Panels
What If My Condition Isn’t On the List?
If your medical condition does not appear on the Listing of Impairments, you can still qualify for SSDI by meeting certain criteria. Your medical condition will need to be a medically determinable impairment. A medically determinable impairment is a medical condition that has been the subject of clinical and laboratory testing. This means that your medical condition has to be supported with clinical reports.
The medical condition must also limit your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC is determined by looking at the most demanding activity you can still perform, despite your medical limitations. Based on their observations, a disability claims examiner will determine your exertional level. Your medical history, reports, and residual functional capacity will all be considered when calculating your eligibility for disability benefits.
Do you have more questions about qualifying for SSDI benefits? Contact our Worcester team of Social Security disability attorneys to schedule a free consultation today.