My Medical Condition isn’t on the “Impairment List.” Can I Still Collect Benefits?

March 19, 2018

A List of Impairments that qualify an individual for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is provided in the listing manual (Blue Book) published by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In order to qualify for benefits in the Philadelphia area and nationwide, your condition must match the criteria given in a particular listing.

Medical conditions on the impairment list

These conditions, according to the SSA’s Blue Book include:

  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Senses and speech issues
  • Mental disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Immune system disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Various syndromes
  • Kidney disease and genitourinary problems
  • Digestive tract problems
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease and genitourinary problems
  • Hematological disorders

Qualifying for benefits without these conditions

If your condition does not completely satisfy the listing requirements for a specific illness or condition, you may still qualify for disability benefits in Philadelphia and beyond based on the condition. If the SSA concludes that certain characteristics of your condition to be medically equivalent to criteria specified in the listing for that condition, or a related listing, you may also qualify for benefits.

If your present condition limits your ability to function to the degree that you are unable to work, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits, even if you don’t meet the blue book listing requirements for your condition. The SSA will evaluate what effect your condition has on your ability to perform regular daily tasks and work. They may also suggest what type of job would be safe for you to perform.

As a claimant for Social Security Disability benefits, your impairment does not even have to be listed in the SSA’s blue book in order to qualify for benefits. If your condition does not match one of the impairments listed in the SSA’s publication, the SSA will evaluate your present abilities through something referred to as your residual functional capacity (RFC). This evaluation will determine if you are able to do your previous job. If you are determined unable, the SSA may have you undergo a medical vocational analysis to determine if other type of work is available that matches your capabilities.

Your RFC is an evaluation of your capabilities in terms of work, as well as what you are unable to do based on your condition. In order to qualify for benefits, your condition must be determined to be a medically determinable impairment that results in an RFC that indicates you are unable to do your prior job or that you qualify for a medical vocational allowance.

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a difficult process. Many times applicants are denied and forced to enter an appeal process before they are finally approved. If you need to apply for benefits, or if your claim has already been denied, the Philadelphia Social Security attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates are here to help. We can serve you whether you live in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia Counties. To schedule a free consultation about your case, call us today at 888.PITT.LAW or send us a message through our contact form.