If you develop a condition or disability that prevents you from working and you have earned enough work credits to be considered “insured” by Social Security, you are entitled to receive benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a list of impairments, both physical and mental, that qualify for benefits. This list, known as the “Blue Book,” is frequently updated and includes a wide range of chronic and acute conditions.
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have a condition listed in the SSA’s Blue Book or you must have a condition that is considered “medically equivalent” to one of the listed conditions. Our Chicago disability attorneys can help you determine if you qualify for SSDI benefits and if so, we can help you work to recover the benefits you are owed.
Call Woodruff Johnson & Evans Law Offices at (630) 585-2320 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team.
Medical Conditions Listed in the SSA’s Blue Book
The SSA’s impairment listing includes various physical and mental conditions that are considered severe enough to prevent an individual from returning to his or her previous employment and severe enough to prevent him or her from obtaining any gainful work.
Qualifying physical conditions include:
- Various forms of cancer
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Back and neck injuries
- Knee injuries
- Heart failure, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions
- Respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and COPD
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cerebral palsy
- Vision or hearing loss
- HIV/AIDS, lupus, and other immune system disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis/arthritis
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Marfan Syndrome
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Digestive tract issues, such as IBD
- Various hematological disorders
- Certain skin conditions
- Diabetes and obesity
This list is not exhaustive; the SSA’s Blue Book also includes various mental disorders and conditions, such as generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), clinical depression, autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and more.
Understanding Medically Equivalent Conditions
It is important to keep in mind that you may still be entitled to receive SSDI benefits if your disabling condition does not exactly match one of the SSA’s Blue Book conditions. Social Security may find that your condition or certain aspects of your condition are medically equivalent to one of its listed disabilities. If your condition meets the SSA’s criteria in this way, it is known as “equaling a disability listing,” and you may be able to recover benefits.
You may also be eligible for SSDI benefits even if your disability does not meet Blue Book criteria if you can show that your disability is so severe that it prevents you from obtaining any gainful employment. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly difficult to secure SSDI benefits, let alone when your disability does not match the criteria outlined in the SSA Blue Book. However, there is still hope. If you are struggling to navigate the complex SSDI filing process or have had your initial claim denied, Woodruff Johnson & Evans can help. Our Chicago Social Security Disability attorneys are here to answer your questions and provide you with honest legal counsel from start to finish. You can rely on us to be your trusted advocates.
We have offices in Chicago, Aurora, and Champaign. If you need help with your SSDI claim in Illinois, contact us at (630) 585-2320 and request a free consultation today.