The Listing of Impairments
When filing for Social Security disability benefits, you should understand the two ways a claimant can be found disabled. One way is if their medical disability is recognized in a book called the Listing of Impairments. If your impairment “meets or equals” something in the Listing of Impairments, you may be found disabled and qualify for benefits.
What is the Listing of Impairments: The Listing is a list of medical conditions that the Social Security Administration presumes would prevent a person from being able to work because they are so severe.
Meeting a Listing: For each listed condition, specific medical signs, findings, and symptoms are spelled out. To meet a listing, you must prove you have these signs, findings, and symptoms by undergoing the appropriate diagnostic tests.
Equaling a Listing: If your impairment does not meet a listing, you could still e disabled because your impairment it medically equivalent to (equals) a listed impairment. For example, your particular impairment may bot be included in the Listing, but it may be just as disabling as one that is; or you may have more than one impairment and their cumulative effect is just as disabling as the listed impairment.
Ability to do past work: If you can still perform your past work, the only way you can be found disabled is by meeting or equaling a Listing. If your impairment meets or equals a Listing, your ability to do your past relevant work is irrelevant. If you can still perform past jobs, your attorney will want to consult with your doctor and carefully consider whether your condition might meet or equal a listed impairment.