Types of Disabilities
As part of the disability evaluation process, the Social Security Administration (SSA) refers to a listing of impairments that is commonly referred to as the “Blue Book.” People who suffer a disability specifically listed in the Blue Book frequently find it much easier to get their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims approved.
The Blue Book contains listings for a number of conditions that may cause an individual to be incapable of working. These disability categories are detailed below. Even if your disability is not specifically listed in the Blue Book, it may still be possible to receive SSDI benefits.
What Types of Disabilities Qualify for Social Security?
If you need help proving your disability for an SSDI claim in Kentucky, it is in your best interest to get professional legal help. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to compile the necessary medical records and other evidence that can help you get your claim approved.
Different Types of Disabilities
Paul Baker Law Office handles SSDI claims involving a number of different disabilities. Some of the most common types of impairments our firm has dealt with include:
- Hematological Disorders (Blood, Lymph, and Leukemia) — This category, found in section 7 of the Blue Book, includes chronic anemia, sickle cell disease, chronic thrombocytopenia, hereditary telangiectasia, coagulation defects (hemophilia or a similar disorder), polycythemia vera (with erythrocytosis, splenomegaly, andleukocytosis, or thrombocytosis), myelofibrosis (myeloproliferative syndrome), chronic granulocytopenia (due to any cause), and aplastic anemias with bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.
- Musculoskeletal Disorders — Covered under section 1 of the Blue Book, this category includes disorders related to bone or joint deformity, spine problems, back injuries, and major dysfunction of joints due to any cause. It also includes reconstructive surgery or surgical arthrodesis of a major weight-bearing joint; disorders of the spine; amputation (due to any cause); broken bones or fracture of the femur, tibia, pelvis, or one or more of the tarsal bones; fracture of an upper extremity; and soft tissue injuries (e.g. burns).
- Respiratory Disorders (Breathing and Pulmonary) — This category, listed in section 3 of the Blue Book, covers impairments resulting from respiratory disorders. Diagnoses may be based on symptoms, physical signs, laboratory test abnormalities, and response rates to a regimen of prescribed treatment by a healthcare practitioner. Respiratory disorders in this category include chronic pulmonary insufficiency, asthma, cystic fibrosis, pneumoconiosis, bronchiectasis, mycobacterial, mycotic, and other chronic persistent infections of the lung. It also includes corpulmonale secondary to chronic pulmonary vascular hypertension, sleep-related breathing disorders, and lung transplants.
- Cancers — Cancer is covered in section 13 of the Blue Book. This category includes all malignant cancers (neoplasms except certain neoplasms associated with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] infection), including: soft tissue tumors of the head and neck, skin cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, salivary gland cancer, thyroid gland cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, esophagus or stomach cancer, small or large intestine cancer, liver or gallbladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, urinary bladder carcinoma, cancers of the female genital tract, carcinoma or sarcoma, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, penis cancer, malignant neoplastic cancer, and diseases treated by bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.
- Digestive System Disorders (Crohn’s Disease, Chronic Liver Disease, and Ulcer Disease) — Covered in section 5 of the Blue Book, the category includes chronic liver disease, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, hepatic (liver) dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), short bowel syndrome (SBS), and chronic malnutrition. Liver transplants also fall under this listing. Other disorders under this category may also lead to complications such as bowel obstruction, weight loss, or manifestations in other body systems.
- Psychiatric and Congenital Mental Disorders (Depression, Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar Disorder, Mental Retardation, Autism, and Anxiety Disorder) — This category is covered in section 10 of the Blue Book. It includes a wide range of mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, paranoia and other psychotic disorders, affective disorders, mental retardation, anxiety-related disorders, somatoform disorders, personality disorders, substance addiction disorders, autistic disorder, and other pervasive developmental disorders.
- Endocrine Disorders (Diabetes and Thyroid) — Endocrine disorders are covered under section 9 of the Blue Book. It includes impairments caused by the overproduction or underproduction of hormones, which results in structural or functional changes in the body. Such diseases are related to the endocrine system, including thyroid disorders, hyper-parathyroidism, hypo-parathyroidism, neurohypophyseal insufficiency (diabetes insipidus), hyperfunction of the adrenal cortex, and diabetes mellitus.
- Down Syndrome — Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems are also covered in section 10 of the Blue Book. This category includes Down syndrome.
- Neurological Disorders (Epilepsy, Brain Tumors, Multiple Sclerosis, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Parkinson’s Disease) — Section 11 of the Blue Book covers this category, which includes several types of neurological impairments, including convulsive epilepsy (grand mal or psychomotor), nonconvulsive epilepsy (petit mal, psychomotor, or focal), central nervous system vascular accident, brain tumors, Parkinsonian Syndrome, cerebral palsy, spinal cord or nerve root lesions due to any cause, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), anterior poliomyelitis, myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophy, peripheral neuropathies, subacute combined cord degeneration (pernicious anemia) with disorganization of motor function, degenerative disease such as Huntington’s, chorea, Friedreich’s ataxia, syringomyelia, spino-cerebellar degeneration, and cerebral trauma.
- Cardiovascular Disorders — Found in section 4 of the Blue Book, this category covers any disorder that affects the proper functioning of the heart or the circulatory system (that is, arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymphatic drainage). The disorder can be congenital or acquired. Potential impairments include: chronic heart failure or ventricular dysfunction, heart attack, heart transplant, discomfort or pain due to myocardial ischemia (with or without necrosis of heart muscle), syncope, aneurysm of aorta or major branches, central cyanosis due to a right-to-left shunt, reduced oxygen concentration in the arterial blood, or pulmonary vascular disease. This category also includes disorders of the veins or arteries (for example, obstruction, rupture, or aneurysm) that may cause impairments of the lower extremities (for example, peripheral vascular disease), central nervous system, the eyes, the kidneys, and other organs.
- Immune System Disorders (Inflammatory Arthritis, Lupus, and HIV) — This category, listed in section 14 of the Blue Book, includes disorders that cause dysfunction in one or more components of the immune system, including systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic vasculitis, systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), polymyositis and dermatomyositis, undifferentiated and mixed connective tissue disease, HIV infection, other immune deficiency disorders excluding HIV infection, inflammatory arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome.
- Genitourinary Disorders (Liver and Kidney Transplants) — This category, covered in section 6 of the Blue Book, includes any impairments due to any chronic renal disease that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months due to a liver transplant or kidney transplant. Some symptoms include: Anasarca (swelling), diastolic hypertension (elevated diastolic blood pressure), fluid overload syndrome, glomerular disease (nephrotic and nephritic), hemodialysis (dialysis), motor neuropathy, and nephrotic syndrome (a general name for a group of diseases involving defective kidney glomeruli, characterized by heavy proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, hyperlipidemia, and varying degrees of edema). This category also covers bone-softening disorders, including: osteitis, osteomalacia (softening of the bones), osteoporosis (thinning of the bones with reduction in bone mass resulting from the depletion of calcium and bone protein), as well as pathologic fractures resulting from weakening of the bone structure by pathologic processes, such as osteomalacia and osteoporosis.
- Skin Disorders (Pemphigus, Extensive Lesions of the Skin) — Covered in section 8 of the Blue Book, disorders related to the skin include: ichthyosis, bullous disease, chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, genetic photosensitivity disorders, and burns.
- Special Senses Systems — Disorders of special senses and speech are covered in section 2 of the Blue Book. This category includes visual disorders or abnormalities of the eye, the optic nerve, the optic tracts, or the brain that may cause blindness. The section also includes the loss of speech, hearing loss that is not treated with cochlear implantation, and hearing loss treated with cochlear implantation.
The criteria in the SSA Blue Book’s “Listing of Impairments” applies to just one facet of the multi-step sequential evaluation process for SSDI. Yet the presence of an impairment listed here may sufficiently establish an individual’s disability if the person is unable to work. The absence of a listing-level impairment does not exclude someone from filing an SSDI claim, however.
Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney in Kentucky Today for Help With You Disability
Even if your condition does not exactly match a listed condition in the Blue Book, your impairment may still be considered equal to another listed impairment. In many cases, people suffer from multiple conditions that are minor in nature individually but create a disabling condition when considered in combination with one another.
Do you or a loved one need assistance proving a disability for an SSDI claim in Kentucky? Make sure to work with an experienced attorney. The Paul Baker Law Office has handled SSDI claims for clients in the greater Barbourville for over two decades. Call us or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation and complete evaluation of your case.