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?”