How Do I Qualify for Social Security if I Don’t Meet a Blue Book Listing?

by Jan 17, 2018Disability Benefits

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Can I Qualify for Social Security If I Don’t Meet a Blue Book Listing?

Filing for and receiving disability benefits is a challenging, often unpredictable process. It is even more so if your condition does not meet a Blue Book listing. The Blue Book is the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) master list of the medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits. The Blue Book also lists the criteria your diagnosis must meet to receive disability for a listed condition.

If you have a medical condition that does not meet a Blue Book listing, you can still apply for disability benefits. With the right kind of evidence backing up your claim, you can receive an approval.

A disability attorney from the Disability Advantage Group, can help you with this process. Our legal team has helped many people with disabling medical conditions win the benefits they deserve, even if their condition did not meet Blue Book criteria. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us today at 865-566-0800.

What Is a Blue Book Listing?

In an effort to simplify the disability application and approval process, the SSA created the Blue Book to list the conditions it considers disabling. Below each listing is a separate list of criteria that you must meet to get benefits for that condition.

For instance, the Blue Book features a section for autoimmune disorders, listing the specific conditions in that category that qualify for benefits. The diagnostic criteria for each condition include a mix of lab test results and medical observations.

If your disabling condition does not have a Blue Book listing, or your diagnosis does not meet the given criteria, we can still help you get approved for benefits. We do this by assembling evidence showing your condition is functionally equivalent to one listed in the Blue Book.

What Is Functional Equivalency?

For your condition to be functionally equivalent to a Blue Book listing, it must limit your work capacity and ability to carry out activities of daily living—such as eating, bathing, and dressing—in a similar way.

Ultimately, the SSA cares less about your diagnosis and more about how it affects you on a day-to-day basis. Before granting benefits, the SSA wants to be confident that you are fully disabled, meaning you cannot work any job for which you qualify.

How Can I Prove My Condition Is Functionally Equivalent to a Blue Book Listing?

The best way to prove functional equivalency is with thorough, compelling evidence. As your disability attorneys, our job is to gather and assemble this evidence in a way that makes the extent of your disability clear and indisputable to the SSA.

You can help with this process by doing a few things. One, see your doctor regularly and submit to any lab tests or blood work they recommend. This lets us show the SSA the extent of care you are receiving on account of your condition. Also, try to keep a daily activity log that details what you are and are not able to do. Have friends, family members, and former coworkers draft statements that corroborate what you are saying.

Filling out a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) test also offers us an effective way to prove the extent of your condition.

What Is an RFC Test?

An RFC test is an assessment that shows your degree of functional impairment. It will let the SSA know which tasks you have difficulty completing, such as heavy lifting, standing, sitting, or typing. It also reveals if you have any mental or emotional impairments from your condition that might make it difficult to sustain meaningful, gainful employment.

Your doctor completes the RFC assessment on your behalf. In some cases, the SSA might request one of its own experts perform the test.

How Can a Disability Attorney Help Me Win Benefits?

The disability application process is notoriously difficult. Many applicants get tripped up due to obscure, complicated requirements. At the Disability Advantage Group, our attorneys have represented many disabled clients, helping them get approved for the benefits they deserve.

Our legal team can evaluate your case and determine exactly what evidence you need, gather it, and file your application correctly. We can also represent you in court or at a disability hearing if necessary. If you have already applied and received a denial, our attorneys can help go over your appeals options. Let us help you fight for the benefits you deserve.

Call 865-566-0800 to Schedule a Free Consultation With a Disability Attorney.

At the Disability Advantage Group, our disability attorneys want to put our resources to work for you. Call us for a free consultation and case evaluation. We will fight aggressively for your rights and help you receive the benefits you deserve. Call 865-566-0800.