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Q: What is the Social Security Blue Book?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) gathers and reviews a great deal of medical information for each applicant in order to make a Social Security Disability benefit determination. Because the process is so complex, the agency created a book called Disability Evaluation Under Social Security to help medical professionals understand the application process and medical criteria used to determine disability. The book is better known as the Blue Book.

The Blue Book contains the following information:

  • General information about Social Security disability eligibility, the disability determination process and the role of medical professionals in determining whether a person is disabled according to Social Security disability guidelines.
  • Medical evidence used by Social Security in order to make a disability determination.
  • Impairment listings for adults and children that describe, by body system, the most common impairments and the level of medical severity required to be considered unable to do substantial work.

Although intended primarily for medical professionals, disability applicants may wish to review information contained in the Blue Book to understand how the SSA evaluates ailments. The Blue Book provides the specific guidelines used to evaluate a condition from a Social Security Disability perspective. However, the disability determination process is still highly subjective—especially for those with a condition that does not fit perfectly into a category outlined by the SSA. As a result, the SSA denies valid benefit claims every day. If you have been denied benefits, Schmidt Kramer may be able to help! Contact an experienced Social Security Disability attorney today at (717) 888-8888 for a prompt and free consultation.