Social Security Blue Book

Social Security Blue Book

In order to be eligible for benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the Social Security Administration (SSA) must deem an individual disabled. To provide guidance on what is considered disabling impairments and the required proof to demonstrate such impairments, the SSA provides something called the “Disability Evaluation under Social Security,” which is alternatively referred to as the “Blue Book.” Though intended for medical professionals, it can be of interest and help individuals who are interested in learning more about SSA disabling impairments.

Basics of the Blue Book

The Blue Book contains a listing of all of the disabling impairments that can lead to eligibility for SSDI. This listing is continuously updated in the online version. A print version is also available, but it was last republished in 2008 and does not contain any impairment added since that time. The Blue Book is divided into adult and childhood disabling impairments.

In addition to a general listing of the impairments, the Blue Book also contains the criteria required for claimants suffering from a disabling condition to qualify for SSDI. This includes general information, evidentiary requirements, and an overview of the listing of impairments. Further, the Blue Book provides information related to benefits under Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as under SSDI. This includes an overview of how the decisions to approve or deny claims are made.

The information contained in the Blue Book is intended to help physicians and other healthcare professionals in understanding the information the SSA will need in order to make a decision on the eligibility for benefits. As a result of this, the information is highly technical, making it potentially difficult for claimants to understand without a background in medicine or science. This often makes it advisable for claimants to consult with an attorney experienced with the SSDI process or a disability professional. These individuals can provide help with understanding the Blue Book, as well as help gathering and providing to the SSA the needed medical records to support the claim.


The SSDI and SSI programs are both administered under the SSA. While both provide benefits to disabled individuals, the requirements to qualify for each are very different. Under SSDI, a person must be considered disabled by the SSA and also must have a long enough work history in which the person paid Social Security taxes. Under SSI, the person must be disabled and have a significant financial need to qualify. It is important to remember that the SSA considers a disabling condition to be an impairment that keeps the individual from working. This definition of disability can differ, in certain circumstances, significantly from medical definitions of disability.

Charleston Disabilities Law Attorneys

If you are no longer able to work due to a serious health condition, it is possible you are eligible for benefits under the SSA. For more information related to SSA disabilities benefits and the process for applying for these benefits, speak with an experienced disability law attorney today. At the Klok Law Firm LLC, we have the knowledge and compassion to help you through the process of obtaining these important benefits.