Stephanie O. Joy, Esq.
*Step 3 - SSA's Sequential Evaluation Process - Multi-Part Series - "Listing Level Condition?"
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Note: This article is for general information only and is not legal advice to any particular reader or individual. For legal advice, you must specifically retain a lawyer.
As noted by the Social Security Administration (SSA), there are 5 overall steps, in sequence, that must be negotiated, when determining if someone is "disabled" under the SSA laws, rules and regulations. The VERY first step ("SGA") can be found here, and the second step pertaining to severe condition(s), here. These Steps are referred to as the Sequential Evaluation Process.
After it is determined that you are not working SGA and that you do have at least one (may be more) severe condition, your claim moves to the next step. As noted by the SSA, "[f]or each of the major body systems, [it] maintain[s] a list of medical conditions that [it] consider[s] severe enough that it prevents a person from doing substantial gainful activity. If your condition is not on the list, [the SSA] ha[s] to decide if it is as severe as a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, [the SSA] will find that you are disabled" otherwise, the SSA will move on to Step 4. https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/qualify.html#anchor3
For a complete list of the "Bluebook" of Listings, click here.
It is important to note that a Diagnosis noted in the Listings, by itself, is not enough. Rather, the Listing will describe symptoms, clinical signs, diagnostic/laboratory findings that must also be found rather expressly in your medical records. If it does so, then you may be found to have "met" a Listing.
Note: In my experience, meeting a Listing is not the majority of Awarded Claims. Most Awarded Claims succeed after not meeting a Listing (nor equalling one). See here for more on that.
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