Listed Impairments

By Jennifer Scherf-Cook

There are several ways to prove that you are disabled as that term is defined by SSA. One way is to show that your condition is as severe as SSA requires in their, “Listing of Impairments.”

Having a diagnosis may change your life, but it does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to disability benefits. Your condition must rise to the level of severity SSA is looking for, and it must last, or be expected to last, 12 consecutive months.

The only way to prove this is through medical evidence. SSA does not take anyone at their word for how bad it is, without supporting medical records. Mental or physical, you will need a doctor to support your claims through medical tests and in-office exams.

The Listed impairments are broken into categories:

1. Musculoskeletal –joints, motor dysfunction, non-healing breaks and amputations.
2. Special Senses and Speech – hearing, vision and the ability to communicate.
3. Respiratory System – chronic lung dysfunction.
4. Cardiovascular – heart and artery/vein systems
5. Digestive System – Liver disease, IBD, uncontrolled weight loss
6. Genitourinary System – Kidney
7. Hematological – anemia, sickle cell, clotting disorders
8. Skin disorders – must be severe and painful/limiting
9. Endocrine
10. Multiple Body Systems – down syndrome
11. Neurological – epilepsy, CP, MS, etc.
12. Mental disorders – from organic (low IQ) to mood disorders
13. Cancers – any area
14. Immune System Disorders – autoimmune diseases from RA to HIV

Each of these categories contains several recognized conditions which have elements SSA is looking for when evaluating your claim. Knowing what is needed can help you establish disability early on.

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