What's In the SSA’s Blue Book Other Than Medical Listings?

The Blue Book is the Social Security Administration’s list of disabling impairments that may qualify for disability benefits. Although claimants usually skip straight to the medical listings section to see if their condition meets a listing, the Blue Book contains other information that can assist them in making a claim.

General Information

The general information section provides the SSA definition of disability, which is medically determinable physical or psychological condition that prevents you from working and can be expected to last at least 12 months or end in death. It also includes the following information:

      How to apply for benefits: options include online, in person, by telephone, or by mail.

      The role that health professionals play in the disability determination process

      Frequently-asked questions about the two programs (Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income). The answers clarify who can apply for benefits, how disability determinations are made, when payments start, and what you can do if you disagree with a determination.

      The different types of medical evidence required by the SSA to prove your claim.

 Evidentiary Requirements

When you apply for benefits, you are responsible for providing medical evidence showing that you have a disability and it is severe enough to prevent you from working. This section of the Blue Book outlines the following information:

      What the SSA needs from you to make a determination, such as medical records and the results of consultative examination if these records are inadequate to determine if you are disabled.

      What medical evidence is needed, such as any medications you are taking and any treatments you may be undergoing to relieve pain and other symptoms.

      Evidence that demonstrates how your symptoms are preventing you from maintaining gainful employment.

      Your ongoing responsibility to keep the SSA informed about or submit all evidence known to you that relates to whether or not you are disabled or blind. 

Disability Claims Process Video Series

The online version of the Blue Book includes a link to a video that provides a visual overview of the claims process. Participants are actual SSA representatives and claimants whose real-life stories and explanations give you a better idea of what to expect when you file a claim for benefits.

Going through the entire Blue Book can ensure that your application contains all the information that the SSA needs to determine the extent of your disability as well as your options if your initial claim is denied.


Get a Free Case Evaluation

The SSA has exacting standards that not all disability claimants meet successfully: in fact, the majority of claims are rejected the first time around. This is why it’s recommended that you work with a Social Security Disability lawyer who can ensure that your application package is complete and correct and guide you through any necessary appeals if your claim doesn’t succeed the first time. To connect with a local SSD lawyer who can help, complete the free case evaluation form today.

Additional Resources

Find Out If I Qualify for Benefits!