We're open & ready to help! Get started without leaving home. Learn More
A blind woman crossing the street with her mom in Los Angeles.

Blog

The process of applying for Social Security disability can be difficult and frustrating, but it helps if you understand how the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines disabilities. It also helps if you understand what happens when you are denied, and how an attorney like Dr. Bill LaTour can help challenge that denial and seek the benefits you need. Learn what conditions automatically qualify you for disability and how a Los Angeles disability attorney can help.

Can You Automatically Qualify for Social Security Disability?

A man with two prosthetic legs doing research on a tablet.The SSA publishes a document online called the Social Security Blue Book, or more properly, Disability Evaluation Under Social Security. This outlines the list of physical and mental health disorders that qualify you automatically as meeting the requirements to get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

It’s important to understand, however, that each condition has very strict criteria you have to meet. Also, in this case, “automatic qualification” means that the SSA recognizes the conditions that meet a baseline definition of “disability.” By falling under the “disability” category, the SSA knows these conditions will prevent you from working for at least a year, or will result in your death. This “automatic qualification” doesn’t eliminate the need for you to submit an application to begin receiving your disability benefits.

Conditions Listed in the Blue Book

A woman with diabetes checking her blood sugar levels.The Blue Book is divided between adults and children, and is further divided among 14 categories. Part A of the book is geared toward adults and lists the following disabilities:

  1. Musculoskeletal, including joint pain, spinal disorders, and amputation.
  2. Speech and senses, including impaired speech, sight, or hearing.
  3. Respiratory, including asthma, COPD, or cystic fibrosis.
  4. Cardiovascular, including congenital heart disease, arrhythmia, and heart failure.
  5. Digestive, including bowel disease and liver disease.
  6. Chronic kidney disease.
  7. Blood disorders like sickle cell disease, bone marrow disease, or hemophilia.
  8. Skin conditions from burns to dermatitis and dozens of other conditions related to ichthyosis.
  9. Endocrine, including diabetes and thyroid issues.
  10. Congenital conditions like Down syndrome or other birth-related conditions that affect multiple bodily systems.
  11. Neurological including ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), MS, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and traumatic brain injury.
  12. Cognitive or mental health including bipolar disorder, depression, dementia, schizophrenia, and intellectual disability.
  13. Cancer of various types.
  14. Autoimmune diseases such as HIV, lupus, and inflammatory arthritis.

In Part B, the same 14 disorder categories are listed, plus low birth weight, which is categorized by how long the gestation period lasted before the child was born. Disability standards for kids are also different; instead of work factors, the SSA looks at whether the disability will cause functional limitations or result in death.

What if My Disability Doesn’t Appear on the List?

The list in the Blue Book is expansive and complex, but not all-encompassing. If you don’t see your disability on the list or you are not sure if you qualify, a Social Security disability attorney can help. At The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour, our team of traveling investigators can not only help you determine whether you qualify, but we can also help you fight for your right to disability.

Dr. LaTour is a licensed psychologist as well as an attorney. He understands what you’re going through, and he knows the law. He can help you apply for disability and help you challenge denials to get the benefits you need. Call us at 800-803-5090 and get your free case review today.