Not all serious injuries and illnesses automatically qualify applicants for social security benefits. There is a Social Security Administration (SSA) impairment listing manual, commonly referred to as the blue book, which lists a number of impairments that automatically qualify an individual for benefits.
The medical conditions listed within the blue book range from cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure to respiratory illnesses such as asthma, and to musculoskeletal problems such as serious back injuries. The blue book also lists speech issues, neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, as well as immune system disorders such as AIDS, lupus, and cancer. Your condition may also be included in the book if you have a skin disorder like dermatitis, a digestive track problem such as liver disease, or a kidney disease.
Even if you have a physical impairment listed in the SSA blue book, you may find that your condition does not exactly match the listing. In such cases, the SSA will review if your disability is medically equivalent to the criteria in the book. The SSA will consider the impact your condition has on your life and how your impairment affects your ability to work.
It is important to remember, however, that you can qualify for benefits even if you do not have a physical or mental impairment listed in the blue book. If you have an impairment that does not automatically qualify, you can still pursue benefits by making a case to the SSA with the help of medical and legal professionals.
An important part of the application process, whether you have a condition in the blue book or not, is proving that you have a condition and that your condition impairs your ability to work. You will have to show that you can no longer perform the duties required of you at your prior job.
The application process is often confusing, tenuous, and stressful. If you believe that your mental or physical condition qualifies you for disability benefits, do not hesitate to seek out legal guidance. An experienced San Diego Social Security disability attorney can review your case and help guide you through the application process.