Social Security Disability List of Impairments

As you consider your injury or disease, you will want to know if it is on the Social Security Disability List of Impairments, compiled by the SSA.

Certainly, it makes life easier if it is, but it does not mean you cannot claim SSDI if it isn’t. If your condition is listed, it just makes it easier to file a disability claim, even if there are still no guarantees.

Every condition in the list of disabilities is one which will keep you from working in any type of gainful employment for at least 12 months.

If you meet those criteria, you might be eligible for SSDI or SSI or both.

Find Out if You Qualify

In addition to the disabilities list, the Social Security Administration has an additional list called the Compassionate Allowances Program with 88 conditions that qualify you automatically for the benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance.

Those people who have a severe medical disability can have their claims expedited through the Compassionate Allowances Program.

Your state’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) makes the decision as to whether you meet the criteria for disability.

The Social Security Disability Blue Book’s List of Conditions

This list of impairments is also called the Social Security Blue Book. This book is designed for the staff at the Social Security Administration, including their physicians, to make decisions regarding your disability and its severity.

This book separates disabilities into different types of ailments and also then gives insight into the severity and specification of the disability that is required for benefits.

Find Out if You Qualify

The book lays out the specifications and restrictions necessary to qualify for Social Security benefits.

The SSA Blue Book is also divided into Part A and Part B.

Part A is for Adult Evaluations and Part B is for Children Evaluations. Adults are defined as 18 years of age or older. Consequently, children are defined as under 18 years of age.

This is because some of the listed conditions have a much different effect on children than they do on adults. So they have to be evaluated differently.

Part A

Part A of the Social Security disability listings has 14 categories, including categories encompassing the musculoskeletal system, special senses and speech, congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular system, digestive system and more.

Part B

Part B has 15 similar impairment listings for disabling conditions. Anyone applying for benefits who meet the conditions and specifications listed in the Blue Book will receive them.

Find Out if You Qualify

The process to receive SSDI can be a long one: disability evaluation under social security can take some time

On the other hand, the Compassionate Allowance Initiative is set up so that those who have extremely severe medical conditions and need help now, will get it.

Their Social Security benefits application process will be expedited so they can receive their benefits now.

This program was introduced in 2008 and those who are severely disabled enough to meet the criteria in this listing of impairments is sometimes able to receive their Social Security Benefits in a matter of weeks.

This is in stark opposition to the regular program where it can take months, even years to get approved and receive benefits.

When the Compassionate Allowance was put in place in 2008, there were 50 medical conditions on the disability qualifications list.

By 2012 there were over 200 medical conditions qualifying for the Compassionate Allowance. Today there are 223 medical conditions that can be easily proved and quickly approved for the Compassionate Allowance.

Find Out if You Qualify

The SSA put the Blue Book and the list of impairments in the Compassionate Allowance Program in place to help health care professionals and doctors understand how the disability programs work.

As previously mentioned the adults are separate from the children and they are evaluated somewhat differently. With adults, the individuals work history, age, skills, education, and severity of the condition(s) are considered.

Social Security Disability List of Impairments

What follows is the complete list of impairments in the Social Security Blue Book. In addition to proving you have the condition, you must also prove its severity.

Musculoskeletal System

Examples are arthritis, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, and fibromyalgia.

Respiratory System

Examples include COPD, asthma, and sleep apnea.

Cardiovascular System

Examples include coronary artery disease, chronic heart failure, ventricular dysfunction, and high blood pressure.

Digestive System

Examples include short bowl system, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and liver disease.

Get a Free Disability Evaluation

Genitourinary System Impairments

Examples are interstitial cystitis, kidney disease, and some forms of nephropathy.

Hematological Disorders

Examples include chronic anemia, chronic thrombocytopenia, and sickle cell disease.

Skin Disorders

Examples include ichthyosis, cellulitis, dermatitis, chronic infections of the mucous membranes, malignant skin tumors, burns, hidradenitis, and shingles.

Endocrine System Disorders

Examples are imbalances in the adrenal, pituitary and thyroid glands, weight-loss gain, pancreatitis, arrhythmia, and diabetes.

Get a Free Disability Evaluation

Congenital Disorders Affecting Multiple Body Systems

Examples are in two categories. The first is Down Syndrome. Examples of the second include Fragile X Syndrome and Caudal Regression.

Neurological Disorders

Examples include epilepsy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Mental Disorders

Examples are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or autism.

Malignant Neoplastic Diseases

Examples are cancer of breast, liver, lung, lymphoma, and leukemia.

Immune System Disorders

HIV or human immunodeficiency virus, AIDS or acquired immune deficiency disorder and lupus.

Get a Free Disability Evaluation

Within each of these categories, there are individual illnesses, conditions or diseases of which there are only a few listed here. In addition, the Social Security List of Impairments then breaks down the illness or condition into the question of severity.

If you have arthritis as mentioned in Category One – Musculoskeletal. Then what kind of arthritis is it? Rheumatoid? Psoriatic? Inflammatory? How severe is it? Can you walk? Can you use your hands?

The Social Security Disability Blue Book says if you have arthritis you must have:

  • Pain
  • Persistent swelling
  • Limitation of joints such as the wrist, hip, hands, knee, elbow, ankle, shoulder

First, the Social Security staff or doctor will also look at all your medical records and proof that you are and have been treated for the condition.

Then they will look at how the condition affects your daily life and ability to work. If you had a stand all day job can you work a sit down job or are you unable to work at all?

If The List of SSD Impairments Doesn’t Apply, Think About Residual Functional Capacity

If your condition is not on the List of Impairments or doesn’t meet the criteria of the list you might still be approved for Social Security disability benefits through the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC).

This RFC evaluation looks at the severity of symptoms and the impact of the disease on your life.

Find Out if You Qualify

There is much that goes into this evaluation including the consideration of your age, work experience, sometimes laboratory tests, education, skills, medical and physical condition, and mental condition. All of this information is used to decide if you can work any kind of job at all.

If it is found that you cannot do sedentary work and you are under 50 you will be considered disabled by the Social Security List of Impairments and you will receive benefits.

Sedentary work means that you can sit for six hours. You can lift 10 pounds. You can occasionally stand or walk for up to two hours in an 8 hour day.

If you have mental or psychological issues due to your rheumatoid arthritis and you can’t do even unskilled work, you will be considered disabled.

When you meet with the agent or doctor make sure you have every bit of medical documentation you can find to show you have this condition and how it impacts your everyday life and your work life.

You will meet first with an agent who will decide to have you see their physician and/or psychologist.

Find Out if You Qualify

Find Out If Your Impairment Is A Disabling Condition

So if you are looking to see if your condition will qualify you for SSD benefits, check the Social Security List of Impairments and don’t forget to check the Compassionate Allowance listing as well to see if you automatically qualify.

If you’re not sure your best course of action, think about consulting a disability attorney to help with your case. If that’s an option for you, find out what a disability attorney can do first, as it’s not always necessary.

8 thoughts on “Social Security Disability List of Impairments”

  1. I have all documents needed to verify my degenerate rumetory arthritis, and flamation in back and wrists.
    I had wreck cause trama head injury . PTS disorder

  2. I called Chattanooga’s office about my wife’s SSN. After 5 minutes of waiting, I was able to speak to an agent. She graciously took my question and then put me on hold for the next 30+ minutes….so I ended up hanging up because of work. I don’t know if she was able to retrieve the requested info or not. Is there a way for me to get her response via email?

  3. What i want no is I already get SSI Disability. But every body keeps telling me that the government is shut down and no one is getting there checks is this true. Because if I’m not getting my check I need to go find a job to pay my rent.

  4. I was recently paroled from prison and have served over 24years. I was released to a Nursing home and I am confined to a wheelchair ♿ with chronic neuropathy in both of my feet and both of my hands.I suffer from COPD – Asthma-Schizophrenia and I have HIV since 1986. I recently applied for SSI and SSD. I was informed that I would get only $30.00 a month from SSI and that I was not able to get SSD. Yet after researching this situation I am concerned that I have not received my full benefits. What is my recourse?

  5. I need to find out when my Direct Express will post my March benefits on my card and it is urgent that I get it on my Direct Express


    I lost SSD due to making $100 more than what was allowed for gainful activity. Since that time I have arthritis in my left shoulder so much that two doctors who insert medicine in to the joint stated they never saw so much arthritis in the joint. I have carpal tunnel in the right wrist with the thumb and index finger numb all the time. I have a colostomy and urostomy both will have the skin barrier come off at unwanted times. I cannot stand without hanging on to something. This means no walking without hanging on to a walker. I have a big list of things I can no longer due to the cancer I have. Between physical and mental problems I do not know what to do.

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