The book that covers mental and physical conditions that may be disabling is known as the Blue Book or Listing of Impairments. Suppose an applicant struggles with a medical impairment that meets the eligibility criteria of the SSA Blue Book listing. 

In that case, they will be considered disabled without considering their work history or education. (Learn more on what conditions automatically qualify for the disability benefits)

Categories In The SSA Disability Blue Book

There are 3 parts to the Blue Book: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. 

  • Part 1 contains general information.
  • Part 2 contains eligibility criteria that the SSA looks for in an applicant’s disability application. 
  • Part 3 contains a listing of impairments and is divided into 2 parts. Part A lists the disabilities for adults above 18 years, whereas Part B lists the disabilities for children under 18. 
Sections for Adults Sections for Children
1.00 – Musculoskeletal System 100.00 – Low Birth Weight and Failure to Thrive
2.00 – Special Senses and Speech 101.00 – Musculoskeletal System
3.00 – Respiratory Disorders 102.00 – Special Senses and Speech
4.00 – Cardiovascular System 103.00 – Respiratory Disorders
5.00 – Digestive System 104.00 – Cardiovascular System
6.00 – Genitourinary Disorders 105.00 – Digestive System
7.00 – Hematological Disorders 106.00 – Genitourinary Disorders
8.00 – Skin Disorders 107.00 – Hematological Disorders
9.00 – Endocrine Disorders 108.00 – Skin Disorders
10.00 – Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems 109.00 – Endocrine Disorders
11.00 – Neurological Disorders 110.00 – Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
12.00 – Mental Disorders 111.00 – Neurological Disorders
13.00 – Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases) 112.00 – Mental Disorders
14.00 – Immune System Disorders 113.00 – Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
———————————— 114.00 – Immune System Disorders


Disability Conditions Mentioned in The SSA’s Blue Book

  • Musculoskeletal System (1.00):

This section covers bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissue impairments. Conditions such as arthritis, back disorders, and limb abnormalities are evaluated based on the impact on mobility, strength, and functional limitations.

  • Special Senses and Speech (2.00):

Conditions affecting vision, hearing, and speech are assessed here. This includes visual and hearing impairments, as well as speech disorders. The impact on daily activities and communication determines the severity.

  • Respiratory Disorders (3.00):

Respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and pulmonary fibrosis are evaluated in this section. Severity is assessed based on lung function, symptoms, and the impact on daily life.

  • Cardiovascular System (4.00):

This section addresses heart-related impairments, including heart failure, coronary artery disease, and heart valve disorders. The severity is evaluated based on symptoms, treatment, and limitations on physical activity.

  • Digestive System (5.00):

Disorders of the digestive system, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, liver disease, and inflammatory bowel disease, are covered here. The severity is assessed based on symptoms, complications, and the impact on nutritional health.

  • Genitourinary Disorders (6.00):

Conditions affecting the kidneys, bladder, and reproductive organs fall under this category. Chronic kidney disease, urinary incontinence, and reproductive organ disorders are evaluated based on their impact on daily functioning.

  • Hematological Disorders (7.00):

Blood-related disorders like anemia, hemophilia, and certain clotting disorders are assessed here. Symptoms, treatment, and the impact on physical well-being determine severity.

  • Skin Disorders (8.00):

Conditions affecting the skin, such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and chronic skin infections, are covered in this section. Severity is assessed based on symptoms, treatment, and limitations on daily activities.

  • Endocrine Disorders (9.00):

This section includes endocrine system disorders, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and hormonal imbalances. Severity is evaluated based on symptoms, treatment, and the impact on daily life.

  • Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems (10.00):

Conditions present at birth that affect multiple body systems are covered in this section. Severity is assessed based on the impact on growth, development, and daily functioning.

  • Neurological Disorders (11.00):

Conditions affecting the nervous system, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and traumatic brain injuries, are evaluated here. The impact on motor function, cognition, and daily activities determines severity.

  • Mental Disorders (12.00):

Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia are assessed in this section. Severity is evaluated based on symptoms, functional limitations, and the impact on daily life.

  • Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases) (13.00):

This section covers various cancers and malignant tumors. Severity is assessed based on the type of cancer, its stage, and the impact of treatment on the individual’s functional abilities.

  • Immune System Disorders (14.00):

Conditions affecting the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, are evaluated here. Severity is assessed based on the frequency and severity of immune system reactions and their impact on daily life.

Which Disability Conditions Are Not Mentioned In The SSA’s Blue Book?

The SSA’s Blue Book is comprehensive but doesn’t cover every possible disability or medical condition. Conditions not explicitly listed in the Blue Book are considered “unlisted impairments.” Some examples of conditions that may not be specifically outlined in the Blue Book include:

  • Rare Diseases: Conditions that are uncommon or have a low prevalence may not have specific listings. These might include certain genetic or metabolic disorders.
  • Emerging Conditions: Conditions recently identified or recognized may not be immediately included in the Blue Book. Medical advancements can outpace updates to the book.
  • Mental Health Disorders: While the Blue Book covers many mental health conditions, the field is vast, and specific disorders or variations might not be explicitly listed.
  • Chronic Pain Conditions: Conditions characterized primarily by chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia, may not have a dedicated listing, but individuals can still qualify based on the impact on daily functioning.
  • Some Neurological Disorders: Certain neurological conditions might not be individually listed, requiring a case-by-case evaluation of the symptoms and functional limitations.

Remember, the absence of a specific listing does not mean automatic ineligibility for disability benefits. Social Security Disability claims also consider the overall impact of a medical condition on an individual’s ability to work. Providing comprehensive medical evidence and documenting the functional limitations imposed by the condition is crucial for a successful disability claim.

What If My Condition Isn’t listed In The Blue Book?

Suppose your medical condition isn’t listed in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book. In that case, you can still qualify for disability benefits by demonstrating the severity of your impairment and how it limits your ability to work through medical evidence, documentation, and professional opinions. 

Some of the conditions that you must meet are as follows:

  • The applicant must meet the technical requirements. For Social Security Disability Insurance, they must have earned enough work credits, be 67 years old, and earn less than $1,470 monthly
  • Your medical condition prevents you from doing any work

You can also learn more about SSA’s 5-Step Sequential Evaluation Process

What Is the SSA’s Blue Book Value?

The SSA’s Blue Book is a manual officially known as the “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security,” it outlines the criteria for evaluating various medical conditions to determine eligibility for disability benefits. The Blue Book is a crucial reference for disability examiners and medical professionals involved in the disability claims process.

Disability Benefits Denied? Contact a lawyer

A Social Security disability lawyer will thoroughly review the reasons for the denial. They can identify the weaknesses in your initial application, addressing any issues that led to the denial. They can work with you to gather additional medical records, testimonies, and other documentation to strengthen your case during the appeals process.

FAQs on SSA Blue Book

The SSA Blue Book, officially known as the Social Security Disability Evaluation under Social Security's Listing of Impairments, is a comprehensive guide used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to evaluate disability claims. It outlines specific medical criteria that must be met for various impairments to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
The Blue Book categorizes impairments by body systems and provides detailed criteria for each condition. By reviewing the relevant section for your medical condition, you can determine if your symptoms and limitations meet the SSA's requirements for disability benefits. However, meeting the Blue Book criteria is not the only way to qualify for benefits, as individual cases are also considered based on medical evidence and functional limitations.
While the Blue Book covers many medical conditions, it does not include every possible impairment. If your condition is not listed, it doesn't mean you're automatically ineligible for benefits. The SSA considers both listed and unlisted impairments when evaluating disability claims. In such cases, you'll need to provide medical evidence demonstrating the severity of your condition and its impact on your ability to work.
Meeting the criteria in the Blue Book can streamline the disability claims process, as it provides a clear framework for the SSA's evaluation. However, it's not the only factor considered. Suppose your medical condition doesn't precisely match the Blue Book criteria. In that case, you can still qualify for benefits by providing strong medical evidence and demonstrating the functional limitations that prevent you from working.
Yes, consulting with an experienced disability attorney can be beneficial. They can help you understand how the Blue Book applies to your case, gather relevant medical evidence, and navigate the overall disability claims process. An attorney's expertise can increase your chances of a successful disability claim by ensuring your case is presented effectively to the SSA.