Jamesia and Mallow Use the Social Security Blue Book


Jamesia did a great job of helping her friend Mallow apply for disability. Mallow was approved in just two months!

Social Security has a manual with a listing of impairments called the “The Blue Book.” The Blue Book does not apply to all Social Security cases, but in Mallow’s case it was a big help.

Jamesia used the Social Security Blue Book every step of the way: When researching her condition, when filling out the application, when tracking symptoms, when talking to the doctor, and when completing function forms.

Jamesia was kind enough to share her story to help others. Here’s how she did it.

How We Used the Blue Book

My friend Mallow was applying for mental health. By reading the Blue Book, I learned what was required in the listing for her condition (i.e., the symptoms, behaviors, frequency and length of illness required). The Blue Book taught me what Social Security actually needs.

For example, if the condition is Depressive Disorder, there is a list of nine criteria. To meet the listing for Depressive Disorder, five out of nine are required.  Sample listings for Neurocognitive Disorders, Schizophrenia, Depressive Disorder and Bipolar

Tracking Symptoms

After reading the Blue Book, I talked to Mallow and asked her what symptoms she was having and what tasks she was having trouble doing. I made a note of these things so we could include them on forms and bring them up during doctor visits.

I asked about Mallow about the symptoms listed in the Blue Book and which ones did and did not apply to her. Sometimes symptoms get overlooked because the person does not even realize it is a symptom until you ask about it.

Filling Out Forms

After taking notes on Mallow’s symptoms, I made sure this information was spelled out clearly on all forms. Social Security mailed us an Adult Function Report and Third Party Form. We also made a special appointment with her doctor where we asked her doctor to fill out an RFC Function Form.

Talking to Doctors

At Mallow’s doctor’s appointments, I told the doctors we needed them to make good notes of her symptoms and how they affect her daily living, and I brought up the points from my notes about her symptoms and impairments.

Disabled individuals often get used to their own limitations and don’t think to bring them up to a doctor. They don’t realize how badly these things actually affect them in their lives.

Usually, a disabled person with mental illness has enough impairments to meet a listing in the Blue Book, but if the person does not remember to bring them up to their doctor, Social Security may not know about it and they might get denied.


🌷 Read Jamesia’s full story and everything else she did to help Mallow get approved: How to Help a Friend Get Approved for Disability

🌷 This page is part of the free online guide: The Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability 

🌷 Learn more about this topic here: How to Use the Social Security Blue Book.

🌷 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.


🌷 Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 

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3 thoughts on “Jamesia and Mallow Use the Social Security Blue Book”

  1. I used every bit of info I could locate on what they would want. I sent it ALL before they asked. The form from the Dr. (RCF form- they are different forms for mental health vs physical), all bills and hospitalizations just everything I could find. I was approved in four months. It was a miracle. I used that listing of the criteria. It was a so helpful.


  2. Hello. My name is Hope and I am filing for SSI. I just got my Adult Function Report packet today. I’m so nervous. I hope I didn’t leave anything out. I haven’t sealed the envelope yet so is there any key things I should add?


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