What is a Blue Book Listing for the SSA?

Submitted by rsg on

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has compiled what is most commonly referred to as the ‘Blue Book’, more formally known as ‘Disability Valuation Under Social Security’, in which is listed all the impairments that qualify for disability benefits. When the SSA evaluates a claim for disability benefits it refers to the listings in the Blue Book before it makes a final decision about any disability claims that have been filed.

What is a Blue Book Listing?

A Blue Book listing refers to the medical conditions found within the Blue Book, most of which are severe and qualify for disability benefits. The book is organized into 14 sections. Each section contains a number of conditions that qualify for disability benefits.

Each condition is given a listing number. It will explain exactly how the condition qualifies.  Each of the medical conditions on the listings provides the following:

  • an impairment overview;
  • the diagnosis or symptoms that may qualify for disability benefits;
  • the evidence that is required to support a claim for disability benefits.

What is Found in a Blue Book Listing?

In the Blue Book you’ll find the medical criteria that are needed for a specific condition to qualify for disability benefits. It could be the full range of symptoms experienced, the test results which may indicate the severity of the condition, image and scan results, the length of time you had a condition, treatment plans, prognosis for future deterioration or improvement, etc. If you don’t meet the criteria laid out in the Blue Book then you may not qualify for disability benefits. 

How Do I Use a Blue Book Listing?

The Blue Book can help you establish whether you medically qualify for disability benefits with your disability.  Because the Blue Book was written for medical and disability professionals it is not necessarily easy to understand the medical jargon in use. If you can’t understand the medical terms your doctor may be able to assist you in interpreting it and ensure you have sufficient medical evidence to qualify for disability benefits.

Getting Help From a Lawyer With the Blue Book

Due to the complexity of the Blue Book, you should review the listings with the help of a medical professional or a disability attorney. Disability lawyers can help you understand the listing’s terms and the medical jargon used. Attorneys may have a better idea of whether your medical condition will qualify.

Many claims are denied due to lack of evidence, so the Blue Book listing should be used as a guide and a match alone doesn’t guarantee having your application approved.

It is important to locate your medical condition in the Blue Book before you apply for disability benefits. Fill out a the Free Case Evaluation on this page to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.

Additional Resources

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