If you're a regular visitor to our blog then you probably already know that the Social Security Administration has a set of guidelines it uses in order to determine if someone is disabled or not. As you know, this is an important part in determining whether a person is eligible for disability benefits or not and whether they should receive federal assistance down the road.
But even though we have touched on the determination process at least two times before on our blog -- once in a September post and again in a January post -- we still have not gone in depth into the SSA's use of its blue book when making determinations. This is something we'd like to look at in today's post.
As you may already know, a person applying for disability benefits must list their condition or conditions on their application. The Administration then looks over these conditions and determines whether or not they are disabling enough to warrant cash benefits. To streamline the process, SSA has created the Compassionate Allowances list, which includes more than 100 conditions that meet the SSA definition of a disability. If your condition appears on this list, then your application is fast tracked, meaning you may be approved sooner.
But what about if your condition does not appear on the list of Compassionate Allowances? Don't worry. The Administration then uses what is commonly referred to as the blue book to make determinations.
The blue book, as you may not know, includes 14 families of diseases, illnesses and conditions that meet the disability definition. If your condition is not listed as a Compassionate Allowance, then the Administration will compare your condition to the descriptions published in the blue book and see if there is a match. If so, then your application is likely to continue through the process.
It's important to point out that SSA can't match your condition to one that appears in the blue book unless you include the necessary information. Oftentimes, missing information is what causes applications to be denied and requires an appeal later on. By having a lawyer review your application, you may be able to avoid this possibility.