Which automatically qualifies you for disability benefits

This question doesn’t have a definitive answer, but the closest thing you’ll find is the Social Security Blue Book.

This online compendium, also known as the Social Security Disability Assessment, lists physical and mental health conditions that automatically qualify you as being medically eligible for disability insurance. Social Security (SSDI) or Supplementary Security Income (SSI), provided you meet the stringent list of criteria for each condition.

“Automatic” here means that Social Security recognizes that these conditions meet its basic definition of disability: an illness or injury that prevents you from working for at least a year or will likely result in death. To benefit from SSDI, you must also have spent some time. period of work for which you have paid social security contributions. To be eligible for SSI, you must have very limited income and financial assets.

List of deficiencies

The Blue Book lists are divided into sections for adults and children, reflecting the different ways in which Social Security examiners assess the effect of a particular condition on those under 18 and 18 and over. Part A, the adults section, is divided into 14 categories representing types of disorders or diseases of various bodily systems:

  • Musculoskeletal system, such as amputation, chronic joint pain, and spinal disorders
  • Special senses and words, such as hearing, sight or speech problems
  • Respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis
  • Cardiovascular illnesses, like arrhythmia, congenital heart disease and heart failure
  • Digestive system, such as bowel or liver disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia and other anemia, bone marrow failure or hemophilia
  • Dermatological problems, such as burns, dermatitis, and ichthyosis, a group of about 20 conditions that cause dryness and flaking
  • Endocrine disorders, like diabetes and thyroid problems
  • Congenital disorders such as Down syndrome that affect multiple body systems
  • Neurological disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain injury
  • Cognitive and mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder, dementia, depression, intellectual disabilities, and schizophrenia
  • Cancer
  • Diseases of the immune system, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), inflammatory arthritis, and lupus

Part B, Child Lists, encompasses the 14 categories in the adult section plus one specific category for children, low birth weight and stunting. The handicap standard for minors is also different. Rather than looking at work-related factors, Social Security examiners assess whether a condition will cause severe functional limitations for at least a year or whether it is likely to be fatal.

The list of impairments is not exhaustive: you can still claim SSDI or SSI if your condition is not specified in the Blue Book or if it is but you do not exactly meet the medical requirements listed. However, you will need to make the case with Social Security that your illness or symptoms are as serious as those stated in the book in terms of limiting your work or daily functioning.

Keep in mind

The Blue Book should not be confused with Social Security’s Compassionate Allowance (CAL) program, although both list conditions that by definition meet Social Security’s disability standard. The CAL program designates the conditions that may allow you to obtain an expedited decision on an SSDI or SSI claim. The Blue Book defines criteria for considering a condition disabling, not for speeding up the process.

About Antoine L. Cassell

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