The Social Security Administration's (SSA) listing of disability impairments can be found in its publication entitled "Disability Evaluation Under Social Security" also known as SSA's "Blue Book." The official Listing of Impairments for both adults and children is codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in appendix 1 to subpart P of part 404.
This publication is significant because it lists the specific criteria required for any given impairment. It has been prepared to provide physicians and other health professionals with an understanding of the kinds of information a health professional needs to furnish to ensure sound and prompt determinations and decisions on disability claims.
As you can imagine this Blue Book can greatly improve claimants' odds of success because it enables claimants to identify any missing criteria from their medical records and discuss the missing criteria and required testing for that criteria with their doctor to ensure their medical evidence is complete before the SSA's determination on their disability claim. The Blue Book's Listing of Impairments is updated electronically. It is is important to note that the listings lack the interpretive explanations available in other professional publications. Also, even though a Listing is mentioned as relevant to a particular test doe not necessarily mean that the Listing requires the test since a Listing can also be satisfied by test results of other medical information that is equivalent. Moreover, when an impairment is not severe enough to meet or equal a Listing, the SSA still has to consider the degree of residual medical severity that is present in terms of a claimant's vocational factors to determine if they are disabled.
The SSA says the Listing of Impairments describes, for each major body system, impairments considered severe enough to prevent an individual from doing any gainful activity (or in the case of children under age 18 applying for SSI, severe enough to cause marked and severe functional limitations). Most of the listed impairments are permanent or expected to result in death, or the listing includes a specific statement of duration. For all other listings, the evidence must show that the impairment has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. The criteria in the Listing of Impairments are applicable to the evaluation of claims for disability benefits under the Social Security disability insurance program or payments under the SSI program.
For the most part, the medical criteria to prove Adult (18 and over) Listing of Impairment is different from the medical criteria to prove Child Listing of Impairments. Also, the criteria in the Listing of Impairments apply only to one step of the multi-step sequential evaluation process. At that step, the presence of an impairment that meets the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (or that is of equal severity) is usually sufficient to establish that an individual who is not working is disabled. However, the absence of a listing-level impairment does not mean the individual is not disabled. Rather, it merely requires the adjudicator to move on to the next step of the process and apply other rules to resolve the issue of disability.
The following is a list of some of the conditions that may qualify applicants for Social Security benefits: ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) - Lou Gehrig's disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Amputations, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Ataxia, Back conditions, Bipolar Disorder, Brain injuries, Cancer, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Headaches, Congestive Heart Failure, COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Dementia, Depression, Diabetes, Emphysema, Fibromyalgia, Hepatitis C, Hip Replacement, HIV, Huntington’s disease, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Liver and Kidney disease, Lupus, Meniere's disease, Mental Retardation, Mood Disorders, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Organic Brain Dysfunction, Parkinson’s Disease, Peripheral Neuropathy, Parkinson's disease, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Schizophrenia, Seizure disorders, Spina Bifida, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Unsuccessful reconstructive surgery.
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