Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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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
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions
Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews