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Diving Deep: What Is the Listing of Impairments and How Will It Affect My Claim?

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers from aRockville Social Security disability lawyer about Social Security disability.

How Does the Social Security Administration Make a Finding of Disability?

There are two sets of regulations used by the SSA in making determinations of disability. The first is called the Listing of Impairments, and it is essentially a list of medical findings and symptoms for a wide range of medical impairments. When evaluating a claim, the SSA will cross-check the claimant's symptoms and findings with the Listing of Impairments, and if the claimant has certain findings as described in the Listing, the claimant will be found disabled, regardless of his or her ability to do past work.

The second applies if the claimant has not been found disabled at that stage via the Listing of Impairments. The Medical-Vocational Guidelines describe physical impairments that cause exertional limitations and are used to evaluate a claimant based on the claimant's age, education, work experience and residual functional capacity. The rules will state whether a claimant is disabled given a combination of those factors.

What Does It Mean to "Meet the Listings"?

The Listing of Impairments is a set and description of medical findings for a host of common impairments. If a claimant has an impairment that matches the criteria described in the Listing, the claimant is said to "meet the Listings" and will be found disabled. It is also possible to "equal the Listings" if a claimant has an impairment that is as severe as one found in the Listings.

Will My Doctor's Opinion Have Any Role in Deciding Whether I Am Found Disabled?

Though the SSA does look at all doctor's opinions provided by you and your Rockville Social Security disability attorney, the matter of meeting the Listings of Impairments is an issue of medical fact, not medical opinion, according to the SSA. In other words, they will take into account a doctor's opinion about your impairment or your ability, but they reserve the final question of whether you technically "meet the Listings" for themselves, not your doctor.

If you have questions about how you might be found disabled, contact a Rockville Social Security disability lawyer. Call Bromberg Rosenthal at 301-251-6200.

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