How to Qualify for Social Security under the Listings of Impairments

The Social Security Administration created the “Blue Book” or the listings of impairments which lists several disorders that qualify for disability. Depending on your condition, the Blue Book will detail the specific requirements needed in order for you to qualify for benefits. The listing of impairments contain common medical conditions considered to be severe enough to keep an individual from working. If you match the requirements, you will qualify for disability automatically, regardless of whether you can actually work or not. However, in order to meet a listing, you must meet all of the requirements of that listing.

This might seem like an easy way to qualify for Social Security. But unfortunately, many disorders contain a variety of terms and phrases that are difficult to understand. In some cases, listing requirements can seem vague which makes it difficult to determine whether or not you qualify under the listing.  For example, many orthopedic listings discuss “effective ambulation”. When simply put, this term just refers to a person’s ability to walk. However, Social Security has several interpretations as to what actually is “effective ambulation”. This phase alone has been litigated in several Federal Court cases and has many interpretations.

You can look at the Social Security’s  listings to see if you can find your medical condition. If your disability is listed, the next step is to determine if your medical condition meets the specific criteria for that condition to automatically qualify for benefits. The listing requirements are often quite complex; your doctor can help you determine if you meet a listing. If you haven’t had the clinical or laboratory tests required in the listing, you can ask your doctor to perform them. Remember, you can get disability for a condition not listed in the listings if you can prove the condition limits your functioning so that you are unable to work.

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