What is the Social Security Blue Book?

If you have considered filing for Social Security benefits, then something you may have read or learned about is the Social Security Blue Book. If you aren’t familiar with this book, it is a document that the Social Security Administration uses to decide if someone is eligible for benefits. The adult listings in the Blue Book apply to those 18 and over in most cases, except for when a disease might be similar in childhood through adulthood. The book is broken down into categories. These categories include:
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Special senses and speech
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Digestive system
  • Genitourinary disorders
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Hematological disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Mental disorders
  • Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems
  • Cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases)
  • Mental disorders
  • Immune system disorders
If you have an illness, injury or disease, it may fall into one of these categories.

How do you use the Blue Book to get Social Security benefits?

If you believe you have a disability that will keep you from working for the long term, you can go into the category that your disability falls under to learn more about how to qualify for Social Security Disability insurance. For example, if you click into respiratory disorders, you’ll find guidance on all kinds of conditions, like asthma, cystic fibrosis and other chronic respiratory conditions. Once you click into the specific illness or injury, you’ll find more information on qualifying for SSDI. For example, with cystic fibrosis, there is a chart with age and height as well as expected FEV1 rates. There are also “or” paragraphs explaining how to qualify if the FEV1 is too good for SSDI. For instance, having a spontaneous pneumothorax requiring a chest tube may help a person qualify. Since every condition is different, you should look at the Blue Book to determine the requirements to get SSDI for yours. If you aren’t sure if you qualify or believe that you do but need more information, it’s a good idea to look into the legal options that are open to you. Applying for disability can be difficult, but with the right planning and good execution, you will have a better chance of getting these benefits.