What is the Social Security Blue Book?

When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you’ll need to eventually have your disability assessed to see if you are, indeed, no longer able to work. An important part of this assessment is the so-called “Blue Book”, which is used to identify your condition and the extent of your disability. But what exactly is the Blue Book, and why do they use it?

Put simply, the Blue Book is a guide to all the medical conditions recognized by the Social Security Administration, which is used for medically evaluating everyone who applies for SSDI or SSI. The Blue Book is kept up to date with the consensus understanding of a wide variety of medical conditions, and every person’s disability is measured against the criteria in the Blue Book. The reason the Social Security Administration does this itself, rather than relying on outside medical assessments, is to avoid the risk of unscrupulous doctors or nurses issuing fake diagnoses, as well as to minimize the extent to which a doctor’s opinion might impact the assessment.

That said, the Blue Book is not all-encompassing, nor is it the be-all and end-all of a disability assessment. The primary factor is always the extent to which you are disabled by your condition. If you are simply not able to function in your day to day life, it doesn’t matter if your physical or psychological condition doesn’t exactly fit the Blue Book’s medical criteria. However, it does make the assessment much simpler if your condition does match the criteria, and that’s ultimately what the Blue Book is for: making life simpler, both for the medical examiners, and for you.

If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.

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