If you are seeking disability benefits, your medical condition may or may not be included in the Social Security Administration’s list of qualifying impairments. Because there are numerous factors involved in determining whether a claim will be approved, it is crucial to have an experienced disability lawyer on your side. Nikolaus & Hohenadel provides comprehensive legal services to disabled individuals throughout Central Pennsylvania.
Our disability attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the list of impairments and regularly guide our clients through the complicated disability claims process. Although the majority of initial benefit claims are denied, working with our disability attorneys improves the odds of obtaining the benefits you deserve.
When you become our client, we will take the time to listen to your concerns, explain all your rights, and guide you through each stage of the claims process. We understand that being disabled and not earning a living can become a financial burden, which is why we will not charge you any attorneys’ fees until we obtain benefits for you.
What is the Blue Book of Impairments?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of impairments known as the Blue Book (Disability Evaluation Under Social Security). The list consists of two parts: Part A concerns disability assessments for adults, while Part B covers childhood disabilities.
Generally, the list of impairments includes specific requirements for when a medical condition is considered a disability under SSA guidelines. To be eligible, you must have an impairment that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. The Blue Book covers the following specific body systems and impairments:
- Special senses (vision and hearing)
- Respiratory system
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system
- Genitourinary system
- Hematological (blood) system
- Skin disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Multiple body system conditions
- Neurological conditions
- Mental impairments
- Malignant neoplastic conditions (body system cancers)
- Autoimmune system disorders
The Blue Book contains a list of impairments for each body system, however, it is not possible to include every condition that may be considered disabling. Instead, the list provides SSA disability examiners with guidelines for determining when an applicant’s condition may be considered a disability.
There are, however, additional criteria for determining whether disability benefits will be awarded. Further, a medical condition that is not included in the Blue Book may still be considered a disability if it is medically equivalent to a listed impairment. Similarly, a number of conditions that are not severe enough to meet a listed condition themselves may be considered disabling when combined.
As you can see, determining whether a medical condition is considered a disability under the SSA’s guidelines can be complicated and confusing. For this reason, it is wise to have the guidance of an experienced disability lawyer.
What other factors are involved in a disability benefits claim?
Although disability examiners rely on the list of impairments as a guideline, your claim must be supported by objective medical data and laboratory findings, such as X-rays, MRIs, CT Scans, chemical analysis, exercise tests, and psychological tests). Another factor that examiners will consider is the degree to which your medical condition imposes limitations on your daily functioning, which includes walking, bending and lifting. Finally, the medical records provided by your doctor will be critically important to your benefits claim. The medical evidence must demonstrate that you are disabled and show how your medical condition limits your day-to-day activities.
Contact Our Lancaster Disability Attorneys
At Nikolaus & Hohenadel, our highly skilled disability lawyers have been fighting for the rights of the disabled for over 30 years. Through the years, we have seen how the Blue Book has expanded to include conditions that may not have been accurately diagnosed in the past. At the same time, we continue to see cases in which a medical condition was not on the list but deemed to be a disability under Social Security guidelines.
Although the list of impairments can be confusing, especially if you are not a doctor or a disability examiner, working with our experienced legal team can mean the difference between having your claim denied and obtaining the benefits you deserve. When you become our client, we will help you navigate each stage of the disability claims process, from submitting an initial application, to filing an appeal, to representing you in federal court if necessary. Above all, we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and help you obtain the benefits you deserve. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.
Nikolaus & Hohenadel serves clients throughout Central Pennsylvania, including Lancaster, York, Lebanon, and Dauphin Counties and the cities of Lewistown, Harrisburg, Carlisle, and Chambersburg. Se habla Español.