Filing a claim for Social Security Disability Benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be difficult if your medical condition does not meet a listing in the Blue Book.
What is the Blue Book?
The Blue Book is the SSA’s list of medical conditions that automatically qualify a person for disability benefits. These listings help you better understand what information you need to submit a claim so you can prove you’re disabled per the guidelines set by SSA.
But don’t fret; if your condition doesn’t meet a listing in the Blue Book, you aren’t out of options just yet.
You can still claim disability benefits by following these steps:
- Provide medical records. Providing extensive records from your doctor can serve as proof that your disability is serious. Make sure you’re seeing your doctor often, and ask for any records that may help your case like biopsies, blood work, surgeries, etc. It will also help your case if you’re seeing a doctor that specializes in your condition.
- Complete an RFC assessment. A Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment will help the SSA understand that kind of work you’re able to do given your condition. For example, the assessment can determine if you have problems performing certain types of physical labor, or if you have emotional or mental disabilities that deter you from working specific jobs. The SSA may have one of their experts perform the assessment, or you could also have it completed by your doctor.
- Keep thorough notes of your activities. The RFC assessment is kind of like a personality or career assessment. It can help make a good judgment call, but only you know you best. In addition to taking the RFC assessment, make sure you’re taking thorough notes of activities you can and can’t perform. The SSA appreciates extra detail.
- Be thorough in your application. Submitting a thorough and complete disability benefits application will give you the best chance of filing a successful claim. Keep in mind there are certain factors that weigh into the SSA’s decision, such as your age, level of education, marital status, etc.
- Back it up with testimony. Medical records from your doctor are the most important thing here, however, it can also be beneficial to have your friends and family submit notes about how your condition has affected your life. If that testimony is consistent, this can go a long way in conjunction with the RFC and medical records.
- Contact us! Disability attorneys can provide guidance in making sure you get the most out of your benefits claim process. We can make sure your medical evidence and paperwork have been filed correctly and even submit the application for you online in some cases. Additionally, we are able to represent you in court and ensure the process is smooth.See how Disability Associates can be of service to you, and visit the SSA website to learn more about disability evaluation under social security.