The SSA Blue Book, another name for the Social Security Administration’s publication Disability Evaluation under Social Security, is designed for use by healthcare professionals in assisting the SSA when determining eligibility for Social Security disability. The SSA's Blue Book helps establish how disabling a condition must be to qualify for disability benefits. Many conditions qualify for disability benefits.
Further Reading: What Conditions Qualify For Disability?
Here is an outline of what the Blue Book contains:
- General Information:The first section is an overview of the SSA’s programs and processes. It contains an explanation of the requirements of the two Social Security Disability programs as specified by Title II and XVI of the Social Security Act, namely the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or SSDI, and the Supplemental Security Income program, or SSI. It also explains the SSA’s definition of disability and outlines the determination process, which requires medical evidence as further explained in other sections of the Blue Book.
- Evidentiary Requirements:The second section lists all the acceptable sources of medical information for determining Social Security Disability, including which types of reports, exams, and healthcare professionals are to be used. The SSA favors Treated Sources in making determinations, that is, medical evidence received from health care workers who have directly cared for the claimant, as it is likely to be the most accurate.
- Listing of Impairments:The third and final section of the Blue Book is divided into two parts. Part A, Adult Listings, contains 14 detailed points of disease groups starting with the musculoskeletal system and ending with immune system disorders. Each point is broken down by sub-points, and contains the SSA’s specific requirements for Social Security Disability to be determined based on these impairments. Part B, Childhood Listings, is similar to the adult listing but contains criteria more specific to children, with the addition of a category on growth disorders.
Social Security Disability Blue Book Listings
The following sections in the SSA Blue Book contains medical criteria that apply to the evaluation of impairments for adults age 18 years and over for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI).
- 1.00 Musculoskeletal Disorders
- 2.00 Special Senses and Speech
- 3.00 Respiratory Disorders
- 4.00 Cardiovascular System
- 5.00 Digestive System
- 6.00 Genitourinary Disorders
- 7.00 Hematological Disorders
- 8.00 Skin Disorders
- 9.00 Endocrine Disorders
- 10.00 Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
- 11.00 Neurological Disorders
- 12.00 Mental Disorders
- 13.00 Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
- 14.00 Immune System Disorders
If you have a disability and you think you are eligible for disability benefits you need to check if your disability is listed in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) disability book which is called the Blue Book. Each section describes the requirements to qualify with a condition that can be found in the blue book listings.
Sometimes a medical condition’s symptoms may be found in more than one listing. For example, a cardiovascular medical condition may cause mental disorders as well.
When you find your medical condition in the SSA Blue Book you will need to provide medical evidence with your SSDI application proving you have this medical condition and you are unable to work for at least 12 months. This includes medical tests that prove the diagnosis and a recent medical report from your doctor.
The SSA's Blue Book is an invaluable tool for healthcare professionals to use in cooperating with the SSA to determine their patients’ eligibility for Social Security Disability as quickly and decidedly as possible. For more information on the SSA Blue Book, check out this resource!