Living with a disability is not easy. You have to adjust your life to fit with days where you could be in chronic pain or dealing with a flare of the condition.

For some people, a disability doesn’t limit them from being able to work. Others, however, find that working intensifies their symptoms. If that’s the case, and if working is not possible, then individuals may want to seek Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

How does the Social Security Administration (SSA) determine if someone is disabled?

To determine if a person is disabled, the SSA looks at all their symptoms, physical and psychological, and to what extent those symptoms can be accepted as a consistent part of the individual’s life. Then, the SSA looks at the individual’s statements as well as medical documentation and references to determine if there is a medically determinable mental or physical impairment that could produce the symptoms that the patient is dealing with.

The SSA then has to determine how much the symptoms that were presented affect the person’s ability to work or function independently.

Does your disability need to be in the Social Security’s Blue Book?

No, the exact diagnosis doesn’t have to be in the Blue Book, though having it there is helpful. There are many injuries and illnesses that will still qualify for Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI), but you will have to show that the injury or illness has a lasting effect on your life and makes it so that you cannot sustain employment.

Our website has more on SSD benefits and what you should do if you’re concerned about getting the compensation you need from SSDI.