Is there a list of conditions that will Qualify you for Disability Benefits?

The social security administration does have a list of specific mental and physical impairments for which a person might potentially be approved for disability benefits. This "Social Security Disability list of impairments" is actually a collection of listings, organized by body systems (i.e. musculoskeletal, neurolical, endocrine, respiratory, cardiovacular, etc).

Disability examiners use the listings to see if a claimant can potentially be approved on the basis of the approval criteria that has been designated for a specific mental or physical impairment. For example, depression and bipolar disorder are given consideration under the section allotted to affective disorders, while epilepsy is given consideration under the section alloted to neurological disorders.

Satisfying the requirements of a listing for a medical condition is often somewhat difficult because the listing criteria is often very specific. Most claims that are approved are not approved on the basis of satisfying a listing.

If you don't get approved on the basis of satisfying the requirements of a listing, how do you get approved for disability? Most approved claims are approved through something known as sequential evaluation. This is a five step process where the social security administration determines whether or no the claimant has a severe condition, and whether or not the condition has been severe enough--for no less than a full year--to prevent the claimant from working and earning what social security refers to as a substantial and gainful income.

If the claimant's condition has not already kept them out of work for a full year, then the Social Security Administration can make a projection as to whether or not the individual's condition is severe enough to eventually prevent substantial and gainful work activity for a full year.

Incidentally, the Social Security Disability list of impairments has historically been used as a desk reference by disability examiners, but was eventually discontinued as a paper publication. The listings are now referred to online via the social security administration's primary website for disability claims.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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