Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
More questions about SSD and SSI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
What is the Social Security Disability List of Impairments?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
The social security disability list of impairments is an organized collection of medical impairments for which the social security administration has provided specific approval criteria.
This list is referred to by decision-makers on claims (depending on what level your claim is at, the "decision-maker" will be either a disability examiner or a federal administrative law judge) as simply "the listings". This list is also referred to as "the blue book" because for several decades the listings were published in a book with a blue cover, titled "Disability Evaluation under Social Security".
The social security list of impairments is still available online though social security has apparently ceased to produce printed updates. The listings are organized by adult and child impairments and also by body systems, such as mental disorders, immune system disorders, skin disorders, digestive system disorders, hemic and lymphatic system disorders, respiratory system disorders, musculoskeletal system disorders, and cardiovascular system disorders.
Are all social security disability and SSI claims decided on the basis of whether or not a claimant can satisfy the requirements of a listed impairment? No. First of all, the great majority of all medical conditions are not contained in the listing book. Secondly, being approved under a listing often means that a claimant's condition was very well documented. Very often, the medical records obtained from treatment providers are not sufficient in this regard.
In most instances when disability benefits are awarded, it will not be because the claimant's case met or equaled the criteria of a listing in the blue book. Usually, an approval will occur because the claimant will have been found to have a severe impairment that has already prevented them from being able to work and earn a substantial and gainful income while doing one of their former jobs.
Their condition must also be considered severe enough to prevent them from being able to perform some type of other work that their work skills might suit them for, provided that other vocational factors such as their age, education, and remaining functional capabilities do not stand in the way.
Here is a partial listing of mental and physical conditions that are listed (and organized under specific body systems) in the impairment listing manual:
Additional information relating to these topics:
How are disability cases approved? - the approval process
The likelihood of winning a disability case depends on several factors
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions