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Is there a Social Security Disability list of impairments, that is, a list of illnesses and injuries, that Social Security considers disabling?

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  133 Comments

Learn about the Social Security Disability List of Impairments that lists illnesses, symptoms and signs that Social Security considers disabling.

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Watch the Video: "Is there a Social Security Disability list of impairments, that is, a list of illnesses and injuries, that Social Security considers disabling?"

The Social Security Disability List
of Impairments

Social Security has a list of illnesses and injuries that are considered disabling but only if they are accompanied by certain symptoms, clinical findings, or test results. Having a certain diagnosis is not enough for your claim to be automatically approved; but if you have one of the conditions in the Social Security List of Impairments and you also have the symptoms and signs that are listed, then your condition will be considered disabling, without further investigation. Similarly, if your diagnosis is not listed, but you have a condition with symptoms and findings comparable to one of the listed conditions, your claim will be approved.

An Example of an Illness in the Listings

For rheumatoid arthritis to meet the listings and be automatically considered disabling, it must be accompanied by positive ANA test results and either degeneration of a weight-bearing joint that necessitates the use of a cane or loss of the ability to perform fine manual manipulation.

Qualifying for Disability When Your Illness is Not on the List

If the condition for which you are claiming disability is not one of those in the listings or is not accompanied by the required signs or test results, you could still qualify for benefits. If you do not meet the Listing, your claim will be evaluated to determine whether you can do occupations you have done in the past and, if you are under age fifty, whether you can perform a new occupation. For more information about how the Social Security Disability List of Impairments fits into the disability evaluation as a whole, please see our article “How Does the Social Security Administration Apply Social Security Disability Laws to Determine If I Am Disabled?”

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133 Comments

  1. Harry says:

    Hi Kay, I posted a question yesterday and cannot find it or your response. Could you help me ? Thanks

  2. Harry says:

    Hi Kay, My case was remanded by the AC due to the ALJ not factoring in my RFC limitations. I have a hearing scheduled next month but my attorney has submitted a new RFC to my file in which my doctor has documented that I meet both listings of 12.04 and 12.06. Is there a possibility that the judge could make a OTR decision before the hearing since I have a RFC which addresses the remand? What are my chances with a favorable RFC? Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Harry,

      If there is a time lapse between the first Residual Functional Capacities (RFC) evaluation and the ones submitted recently, the period before the recent RFCs may be evaluated based on the earlier RFCs up to the date that the new ones show your condition has worsened. I can’t predict whether you will get an approval on the record (OTR) or a hearing will be held, but I’d say that if you are not currently insured for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) but were at an earlier point in your claim, there is somewhat more likelihood of a hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Harry says:

        Yes I am currently insured until 2018. The newly submitted RFC does show a worsening condition with a doctor who I have been currently seeking since May 2015. I don’t understand the need for a hearing if the RFC is submitted with this information showing my condition has worsened and it addresses what the Remand was about

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Harry,

          The judge still makes the decision–not the Appeals Council–so if the judge wants to discuss the evidence or anything else with you, there will be a hearing.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  3. Frank Yarum says:

    I have been in front of an ALJ twice now, both times I was given an unfavorable decision. I had legal representation since I filid for benefits in 2010. I just received the new Appeals Board decision. It is now being sent back to the ALJ (but since this is now the second time the AB sent it back, it goes to a different ALJ). I am a disabled veteran with a 100% service connected disability rating from the Veterans Administration. My list of service connected disabilities include, severe migraines, limited motion of neck, lumbar strain (The VA lumps most back issues into this one category, my actual condition is DJD, 2 bulging discs and 1 herniated disc), obstructive sleep apnea, hiatal hernia, acid refluxed desease, bursitis r/shoulder, carpal tunnel in both wrists and hands, limited motion of hips, djd of the right knee, limited motion of both ankles, planters fasciitis, and more. I also have more medical conditions not rated by the VA yet including PTSD, moderate recurrent major depressive disorder, chronic pain disorder, IBS with diarrhea and constipation, colonic polyps, hyperlipidemia, chronic cervicogenic headaches, type 2 diabetes, sciatica, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, paranasal sinus disease, pinched nerve in cervical spine at C6/C6, restless leg syndrome, doichoectasia of the left vertebral artery, childhood trauma PTSD, peripheral neuropathy. All of these conditions are well documented by many VA Doctors and tests. X-rays, CTs, MRIs, surgerys in my VA medical record, (which is about 12 inches thick of computer printed medical files). I really wish I could fire my representation and get someone new cause in both times we appeared for a hearing, she showed up just 5 minutes before the hearing and then did not only not subpoena the SSA Dr., but didn’t challenge any of the medical conclusions he made in his reports (witch many of were either straight false or derogatory because he left information out that did not support his conclusions). I should also point out that the VA Dr’s do not fill out SSA paperwork for us nor can they be subpoenaed to testify. I did go get an FCE from a clinic that specialized in physical limitations and rehab. (Said I was sedentary light). My previous job was as a Branch Manager for a world wide security organization. Job duties require up to 8 hours per day of standing, sitting or standing, deliveries of company material to client sites and to employees etc.etc.etc. Oh yeah, lets not forget that in the 6 and 1/2 years since I filed, I have never (not even once) have I been seen by the Social Security Dr. who makes comments in his reports like, I see no reason for him to be in as much pain as he claims, I see no reason for him to use a can, etc. etc.
    I guess my questions are; how can I find out info on SSA Dr. ie. Medical specialty, when last practiced, stuff like that? I stopped working do to disabilities getting worse to a point where I could no longer function in a working environment, but my illnesses and most of my disabilities had happened years earlier, and just continued to get worse over time. I was told by my advocate that only my medical records from the day I stopped working forward could be used as evidence. Is this true? How do I submit over 1000 pages of medical records to the court?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Frank,

      I am not advising you to change attorneys, but unless there is something in your representation agreement that prohibits it, you can probably change if you want to.

      Sometimes showing medical history before the actual cease work date is helpful because it shows the duration and progression of the condition(s). Ordinarily, if you want to submit records, you can just send copies to the hearing office; however, you may be barred from doing that now because you are in the stage that what is in question is whether the judge made the correct decision based on the documentation he or she had at the time. So, before sending in new evidence, I suggest that you get legal advice on whether that is allowed at this point.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Julia says:

      I was in a bad accident in 2014 I’m 47
      Had a tibula fibula open fracture was repaired with plates and screws and bone graphs my knee grinds now was told I’d need a knee replacement have nerve damage and in ankle ligaments are stretched out so it’s always swollen and in pain….also
      Had a acetabulum fracture pelvis was repaired with plates and screws after 3 months of non weight bearing I was given the ok to walk….but when I put weight on my hip my pelvis broke again. So I had another pelvis revision with bone graghs and a full hip replacement over a year ago….all my joints on my left leg have been repaired. I can still not walk on my own I can walk a short distance with a cane a little farther ….less than a block with my walker
      My ankle swells to were I can’t move it if I don’t lay down every few hours….
      I applied for ssi I received a call last week from my examiner he wanted me to go for there medical exam …..then this week I got a letter to call him. So I did
      He said he sent it before we talked last week so I asked him if my appt was being made to see there Doctor . He informed me he changed his mind and has enough medical records to decided my claim and I’d be notified …..
      Now I’m confused

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Julia,

        I believe that your consultative examination has been cancelled because your claim is going to be medically approved without an independent exam.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  4. Corine Smith says:

    Hi Kay, I applied for SSDI online late June. I went into SSDI office to drop off some paperwork that my doctor had completed for Sedwick and Broadspire. I also included the lab work and limitations I have due to Primary Sjogrens, Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pancreatitis, chronic urticaria, malasie, pain, sicca, and joint swelling/pain….plus more symptoms. I had my interview that day as well. I received ADL forms for me and my husband to coplete . I wanted to know since my disease(s) are in the blue book and I meet criteria and gave the support documents, how are my chances for getting approved?

    • Corine Smith says:

      Hi Kay, I forgot to mention I’ve been out on disability a year and 8 months.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Corine,

      Each of the medical conditions in the Blue Book list of conditions that are considered disabling without an analysis of the claimant’s work background and each condition has a list of findings that have to accompany the diagnosis. Stated another way, a person could have a diagnosis in the Blue Book but not meet the listings because tests and clinical findings do not demonstrate the severe symptoms and findings shown in the Blue Book. In short, you may meet the listings or not. If you don’t, you may still be approved based on other criteria. You can get more information about the process in the article “How Does the Social Security Administration Apply Social Security Disability Laws to Determine If I Am Disabled?” under the “Claim Process” tab at the top of this webpage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  5. Lora Miller says:

    Hi Kay! I have not applied for disability before but feel I may need to. I am 52 and in the last 3 years have had several medical problems that are causing many problems. I have been diagnosed with Hypothyroid, diabetes, and Lichen Planus. I also have many problems not.actually diagnosed because I really can’t afford the.test or because no specialists will see me because I have no insurance. I am taking medication for anxiety, joint pain,and brain fog also. My Dr is also pretty sure I have IBS,restless leg syndrome and possibly MS. I am experiencing so many symptoms it’s hard to keep track. I have balance problems and pretty bad knee pain. I am in a bad position because I need treatment for these problems and the Drs won’t see me because of the lack of insurance but if I could get an actual diagnosis of these problems I could possibly get disability and in turn insurance for treatment. Do you think I have a chance of being approved if I apply?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lora,

      The only way to find out whether you are disabled under Social Security law and enough medical information to prove it is to file an application. As far as medical insurance goes, check with your state or county social services to see if you qualify for Medicaid. If you do not, during the next open enrollment in December, I suggest that you investigate health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. If your income is limited, you might qualify for a government subsidy to pay for premiums. More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  6. Tami says:

    Hi Kay,
    I have multiple health issues that I have been dealing with for years. MRI showsNerve root compression in lower lumbar L4 – L5 area, deal with sciatica in right hip down leg to heel, hip pain, MRI shows congenital narrowing in neck with nerve root compression along with flattening on spinal cord. Have been told surgery is an option. My left arm feels weaker due to the neck issues and possible previous tia in 2009. I deal with severe migraines that are debilitating for days. I also have IC of bladder that is also debilitating. I recently had chronic cholecystitis of gallbladder. When one or all of these are going on at same time it is beyond my control to function normally. I have seen numerous dr’s, neurologist, neurosurgeons, PT , chiro, massage therapy, pain meds, epidural injections, tens unit, heat, ice, etc . I have not worked since 2010. Applied for SSDI, been denied twice, have a lawyer and now waiting on a hearing date to be set. What are the chances for approval at my hearing?

    Thanks,
    Tami

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tami,

      I’d say you have a reasonable chance for approval, but there is no way to know for sure until you’ve had the hearing and a decision is rendered

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  7. Tamika says:

    I have ptsd bipolar depression anxiety fibromyalgia angorphobia seizures and the other kind. Where they just come but no change in ekg I for for the name and I have a chiari malformation and I get really bad to the point have to go to hospital migraines do you think I would get aooroved

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tamika,

      I can’t say for sure, but it is possible that you could meet the medical requirements for eligibility. The only way to know for sure is to file a claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  8. arlen owen says:

    i will b 61 yrs old in july 2016 i just applied for ssdi i tried to apply before that was 8 yrs ago i was denieid I havent worked in 8 yrs since 2007 the va has said that i am unable to work because of mental issues, hearing issues i get pension from the va for that reason i am rated at 50% compensation service connected. the va says that my mental issue are not service cionnected so thats why i cant get a higher rating. i have a GED never went any further in school all my life i worked on my feet cooking factory work thats about it.presently I have a broken ankle since feb 2016 it is not healing correctly and they may have to try to surgerly repair it. The dds is processing my claim i wasnt required to see another doctor or nothing my medical records have already been reviewed what do you think my chances are and tks in advance arlen

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Arlen,

      It may be difficult to be approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI) because you have to prove that you became disabled while you were still insured for Social Security, which was probably last in 2012. If your income and assets are within the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) limits, then you only have to be disabled now and expected to be disabled for twelve months. Therefore, you may have a better chance for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • arlen owen says:

        i dont understand i have more than enough work credits prior to my illness i was working for ford moter making 75k a year why not disability

        • arlen owen says:

          the veterns admin said i was disabield 8 yrs ago thats why i havent worked cant work

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Arlen,

            You can submit your VA medical records; however, VA and Social Security laws are different so being disabled for VA benefits does not necessarily mean you are disabled under Social Security law.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Arlen,

          To be insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI), twenty of your quarters of coverage (work credits) have to be in the last ten years before disability began. Based on last working in 2007, that would be some time in 2012. Sometimes it is hard to get older records. If you can get your records from 2012 and earlier and they clearly document your diagnoses and that your limitation and restrictions at that time were severe enough to keep you from working, then you could be approved for SSDI.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

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