Social Security accepts that any recognized medical condition or syndrome can disable you if the symptoms you experience interfere with your ability to perform the duties of an entry-level job. Obviously, your chances of success will be greater if your medical condition recognized by the medical community and is common enough so that it is recognized by the judge.
If your medical condition is rare, you and your lawyer may need to provide background materials to educate your judge about your condition – this is where a compelling pre-hearing brief would be necessary.
Social Security has compiled a list of serious medical conditions that are likely to prove disabling. This list is contained in something called the “Blue Book” which is published by SSA 1. The Blue Book contains Social Security’s listings – these listings divide the human body into fourteen (14) chapters representing fourteen body systems. Within each chapter you will find detailed descriptions of diseases that impact that body system.
If you have been diagnosed with a particular disease that is included in the Blue Book and your medical records document that your case exists at the level of severity described in the listing, then you should be approved quickly without having to produce extensive evidence about the impact of your symptoms.
If your condition falls with a Blue Book chapter but your records are not clear that your condition exists at the severity required by the listing, you can still win. This is a common situation for claimants who suffer from multiple medical conditions that individually are not disabling but when considered in combination would prevent full time work. In such a case, you and your lawyer will have to introduce evidence that your capacity to function at work has been so eroded by your condition or conditions that you would not be able to maintain employment.
If your condition is not included in the Blue Book, you can still win but you will need to introduce evidence of your diagnosis, the associated problems and the severity of those problems.
There are certain medical conditions that experienced disability lawyers see over and over again. In my practice, for example, the most common medical issues I see include:
- back pain
- closed head injuries
- depression and anxiety
- heart disease
- immune system disorder such as HIV or AIDS
- irritable bowel syndome (including Crohns & colitis)
- multiple sclerosis
- neck pain
- post traumatic stress disorder
- seizure disorder
- vascular diseases such as DVT and chronic venous insufficiency
My colleagues in other cities would likely have a different list of common winning cases.
Whatever your diagnosis, I can help you win your disability claim if your medical problems prevent you from working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Please call me to discuss your case.