Can I Get Disability Benefits Even if My Condition Isn’t in the Disability “Blue Book?”

Qualifying for benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program may seem straightforward. If you suffer from one of the impediments the government lists in the “blue book” of impairments, Social Security benefits should cover you through these programs. However, even if the blue book doesn’t list your condition, you may still qualify for benefits, though the process can be more complex.

Conditions That May Still Qualify

The Social Security Agency (SSA) has two main criteria that an illness must met for the agency to consider it a legal disability. First, clinical observation and reports must support your claim of a medical condition. A physician must determine there is a medical problem, and, usually, he or she must provide evidence through office visit reports (clinical testing) and tangible results (laboratory testing).

Second, your medical condition must limit your residual functional capacity, or RFC. Your RFC is the most demanding activity that you can accomplish despite your medical condition. An examiner will test your ability to do things such as bend down, lift things, use your hands, cope with anxiety, and other factors to determine your RFC.

Proving Your Case

To establish that your claim meets the criteria to qualify for disability, you will need to provide medical evidence of your disability. This will include details of your examination by your physician, any treatment notes or reports that your doctor may have made, scans such as MRI, CAT scans, and X-rays, and any other medical evidence that may support your disability claim.

Your records should cover the period when you became disabled through your recent exams. These records need to show you are medically incapable of continuing to perform your duties at work.

A Complex, Difficult Process

Many people seeking disability benefits, especially those with conditions not listed in the blue book, find the process to be very difficult. It is common for those attempting to establish their claim to find that the Social Security Agency denies even well-documented cases. In addition, the process can often take months or years to reach a resolution.

Your chances of having the SSA approve a disability claim are much better if an attorney represents you during the process. Statistics bear out the fact that the SSA is more likely to approve a claim made by someone who has representation than those who do not. An injury attorney is familiar with the process and can help establish your case in a way that makes your success much more likely. Their experience means you can circumvent some pitfalls in the process.

Your Nasvhille personal injury attorney will assemble and submit the medical evidence on your behalf and obtain expert medical and vocational testimony about your inability to work. Your attorney will also prepare you to answer questions from the administration law judge and will be able to draw out information that demonstrates the merits of your claim.

While the process is often long, should the SSA approve your claim, you may be eligible for back pay going back to the date you first became disabled. While it’s difficult getting the SSA to approve a disability claim for a condition that it doesn’t list in the blue book, a qualified attorney can help; it is possible to get the benefits the law entitles you when you are disabled and unable to work.