A number of things go into deciding whether or not an illness, injury or impairment qualifies as a “disability” for purposes of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (“SSDI” or “disability benefits”).
One of them is whether or not your condition is a “listed condition.”
Social Security’s Disability Listings.
One thing that can be rather difficult to understand is that when it comes to SSDI, although many people may have a certain condition (for example, cancer or hearing loss)—even a listed condition— not all of them will qualify for disability benefits.
This is because a number of variables go into the decision-making process when it comes to disability benefit awards.
To qualify for disability benefits, you must not only have a disabling condition or impairment, it must be “permanent” (expected to last at least 1 year) and it must be “severe”.
That means that what is critical to the Social Security Administration’s (“SSA”) disability determination is not a person’s diagnosis, but whether or not the physical or mental condition seriously interferes with that person’s ability to work full-time or for an extended period of time. And the answer to that question depends on the person, their condition, their job, education, prognosis, responsiveness to treatment and a whole lot more can be for several reasons.
Because there is such a wide variation of disorders and conditions, the SSA created a guide for SSA employees like disability examiners and physicians, to determine whether an applicant potentially qualifies for disability benefits. The guide, commonly referred to as the “Blue Book,” lists a number of medical conditions (separated into different categories) and the exact specifications needed for each condition to qualify for disability benefits.
The conditions listed in the Blue Book are conditions that are considered by the SSA to be disabling. If your condition exactly meets one of these listed conditions, including in severity, then you will be considered disabled.
A word of caution here: just because you may have a condition that is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book, that does not mean you will automatically qualify for benefits. Because disability is tied to other qualifying factors, including work history and whether or not the condition seriously prevents a person from working full-time on a sustained basis, there is no “automatic” qualification for disability benefits.
On the other hand, just because your condition is not one of those listed in the Blue Book, that does not mean that you cannot or will not qualify for disability benefits.
Obtaining disability benefits is never a simple or easy process. That’s why we recommend that you enlist the assistance of experienced social security disability counsel.
Disability Law Is What We Do.
We are experienced disability attorneys. We have helped many people get benefits and we can help you, too. We have offices throughout Missouri. We also have offices in Kansas, Illinois and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Call us at 855-727-8625 or contact us today to set up your free appointment.