An illness or injury that permanently keeps you from working can have devastating financial consequences for you and your family. However, you may qualify for social security benefits that provide financial assistance.
The Social Security Administration’s Blue Book lists qualifying conditions; however, your eligibility is also dependent on other factors.
What is the Blue Book?
The Blue Book is a tool the federal Social Security Administration uses to prequalify applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Income Benefits programs. The book includes a listing of conditions that can prevent someone from maintaining a job. It also outlines the criteria doctors must apply when making a diagnosis and the degree of disability the condition must cause to prevent someone from working.
Will I qualify for benefits if my condition appears in the Blue Book?
Although finding your condition in the Blue Book is helpful, the approval of your benefits depends upon other factors. First, you must submit a formal application to the federal Social Security Administration, including details about your employment history, military service, and marital status, along with your doctor’s report. Next, the Administration will forward your application to Oregon’s Disability Determination Services field office, which may require you to undergo additional medical testing before making a final eligibility determination. Finally, the DDS will send its findings to the federal office.
If the Oregon DDS office approves your application, the federal office will determine your monthly award and send your payments. Otherwise, if the DDS denies your application, you may request an appeal within 60 days of receipt of the decision. Your determination letter will explain how to file an appeal.
Although knowing that your condition appears in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book is helpful, it is not enough to qualify for disability benefits.