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Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Social Security Disability | 0 comments

Qualifying Disabilities (for Adults and Children) for Social Security Benefits

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Blue Book or impairment listing manual, which is officially entitled “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security,” contains a list of physical and mental disabling medical conditions (called impairments) for both adults and children. Individuals suffering from any of the impairments included in the Blue Book will automatically qualify them for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is important to note that meeting the criteria specified in the Blue Book is not a guarantee that a claimant will be awarded the benefits that he/she seeks; it simply establishes the fact that he/she has suffered from a disabling condition long enough to be considered eligible for consideration by the SSA.

The Blue Book contains a list of impairments for both adults and children. This list, which appears in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), is just one of the means through which the SSA decides if someone is totally disabled. For adult claimants, besides the claimed impairment, the SSA also considers their age, education, work skills. severity of medical condition, and past work experience/s.

For 2015, the listing of impairments for adults (individuals 18 years old and above and children under age 18 where criteria are appropriate) include:

  • Musculoskeletal system disorder;
  • Special senses and speech disorder;
  • Respiratory disorders;
  • Cardiovascular Impairments;
  • Disorder of the digestive system;
  • Genitourinary disorder (this results from chronic kidney disease or CKD);
  • Hematological disorder;
  • Skin disorder;
  • Endocrine disorder;
  • Congenital disorder that affects multiple body systems;
  • Neurological disorder;
  • Mental Disorder;
  • Cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases); and,
  • Immune system disorder

The 2015 listing of impairments for children (under age 18) include:

  • Low Birth Weight and failure to thrive;
  • Musculoskeletal system disorder;
  • Special senses and speech disorder;
  • Respiratory disorder;
  • Cardiovascular Impairment;
  • Digestive system disorder;
  • Genitourinary disorder (this results from chronic kidney disease or CKD);
  • Hematological disorder;
  • Skin disorder;
  • Endocrine Disorder;
  • Congenital disorder that affects multiple body systems;
  • Neurological disorder;
  • Mental Disorder;
  • Cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases); and,
  • Immune system disorder

A person can also be awarded disability benefits even if his/her health condition does not meet or equal the requirements of a disability listing found in the Blue Book, so long as his/her condition limits his/her functioning so much that he/she cannot work (to be considered able to work, one must be able to work full-time, attend work regularly, not need to take frequent rest breaks and be productive).

According to the Hankey Law Office, P.C., SSA does not pay benefits to individuals suffering only from partial or temporary disabilities, though these can also render them unable to work for some time (but definitely much shorter than the year or more required by the SSA). This, plus the technical nature of the requirements for each listing in the Blue Book, can easily confound prospected claimants into thinking that their condition can be considered as total disability or in assuming that they have all the records necessary in supporting their claim that they are totally disabled. To avoid these mistakes, as well as to be able to understand the technical nature of the requirements specified in the Blue Book, it would be good to have a qualified Social Security lawyer assisting them.

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