Does Social Security use a list of impairments to determine if I can get disability benefits?
Yes. Social Security will look to a list of impairments to see if you are eligible for benefits and they have, for example, if you have a heart issue and your ejection fraction is less than 35%, that’s an early or easy determination for Social Security to make. It’s based on a sonogram and just the medical records from your cardiologist. That’s also a medical listing. The medical listings do get a little bit more complicated, especially with psychiatric listings under 12.05 and 12.06.
Then there are other medical listings, for example, a dual amputation. An amputation of both legs. An arm and a leg or any combination of those. So these are the medical determinations Social Security has to make first to determine whether or not your case is going to be accepted as a medical case or whether it’s going to get kicked over into the area of vocational determinations to make it a vocational case.
So yes, they have to look at your medical issues first and see if they determine if the severity is enough to meet a medical listing, so they don’t have to go into the more complex area of vocational determinations.