Making Sense of the Medical Listing of Impairments

medical listing of impairments

Not long ago, we identified 5 of the most common obstacles in the Social Security disability claims process. The third obstacle we discussed was the Social Security Administration’s medical listing of impairments. The listing of impairments is a collection of some common disorders and disabilities which may qualify for disability benefits.

You may be wondering, “how is a list of disabilities an obstacle in the disability claims process?” That is a valid question, since it seems like such a list would be helpful when filing a claim. However, the medical listing of impairments can be very confusing.

Even if your condition is clearly on the list, it doesn’t automatically mean that you qualify for benefits. The flip-side is also true: even if your condition isn’t on the list, you may still be able to qualify.

How Should I Read the Medical Listing of Impairments?

Looking for your condition in the listing of impairments isn’t a bad idea. The SSA outlines some specific guidelines and qualifications for many disabilities. The information in the listing can help you and your disability lawyer make important decisions about your case.

Letting the medical listing of impairments determine whether you file a claim is a bad idea. As we mentioned above, many unlisted conditions can still qualify for disability benefits.

Your approach to your disability case should be fairly similar regardless of whether you have a listed condition. Taking the following steps will be much more important to your claim than the listing of impairments:

  • Get all the necessary medical testing
    • Speak with your doctor about your condition and its symptoms. Many conditions can’t be specifically diagnosed by one test, so take all the tests you need to demonstrate your disability.
  • Keep track of your health situation
    • This sounds obvious, but it is extremely important and often overlooked. Consistently recording and tracking your condition can help make your case more convincing.
  • Be able to explain how your condition affects you
    • The most important part of any disability case is your ability to work and function in society. You need to be able to explain in detail how your condition affects your work situation and your everyday life.

The listing of impairments isn’t the only confusing part of a disability case. The experienced attorneys at Summit Disability Law Group understand how to navigate the claims process in cases involving both listed and unlisted conditions. If you have any questions about the listing of impairments or Social Security disability benefits in general, we have the answers. Contact us today and start making sense of the process.


Photo “Read/Review” copyright by Sebastien Wiertz.