If you’re planning to apply for disability benefits for the first time, you may just be getting to know what the Social Security Administration (SSA) calls their Listing of Impairments. The Listing of Impairments, also known as the SSA Blue Book, is a lengthy code that describes the requirements to qualify for disability benefits for over 100 different conditions.
The Blue Book prioritizes the most serious and common ailments in order to cover the largest amount of cases. While 100 conditions may sound like a lot, the Blue Book is far from a complete list, and many sufficiently impairing conditions are not included. If you are unable to work consistently or entirely due to a provable medical condition, you may be able to ‘equal’ a Blue Book listing with a similar condition.
How Can I Apply for an Equal Listing?
There are three occasions where the SSA allow applicants to apply for an equal listing:
1. Your Impairment Does Not Have a Listing
If your condition does not match any found in the Blue Book, you are allowed to apply under the listing for a similar condition. Applicable listings will have a similar set of symptoms in terms of seriousness or impact. Through your application, you will have to make the case that your condition and symptoms are equivalent to ones detailed in the Blue Book.
2. You Have a Listed Impairment with Unlisted Symptoms
If your condition is listed in the Blue Book but you have medically verifiable symptoms that are not found on the listing, you can still apply. Supporting evidence must be provided to substantiate the symptoms you experience and prove the equivalence.
3. You have a Combination of Impairments
The SSA reviews many cases from individuals who live with multiple more minor conditions which, together, make participating in substantial work impossible. Similar to the other two methods, you are encouraged to find a comparable listing and provide substantial medical evidence of your conditions. It’s up to the SSA to review the information you provide and determine whether your symptoms qualify you for benefits.
Social Security Disability Attorney in Oakland
Though many apply for and are granted benefits alone, the assistance of a Social Security disability attorney in Oakland can help prevent the process from becoming burdensome. Ortega Disability Group can assist you every step of the way, including gathering medical documentation and making an appeal. We provide free consultations for all potential clients, so please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment.