Social Security Disability Listings

July 3, 2022


In October, we discussed the 5 Step Sequential Process. Step 3 of this process is: Does the impairment meet or equal a listing?

Overall, we have reiterated that the requirements for qualification of Social Security Disability can be vague and difficult to pin down when gauging your own medical impairments. However, at Step 3, there are lists of disabilities with very specific requirements that, if met, would qualify an individual for Social Security Disability Benefits, so long as the impairment has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months.

Social Security Disability Listings, also known at the Social Security Blue Book, contain the most common medical conditions considered to be severe enough to keep an individual from working.

It’s online form is consistently updated with new information, and can provide you with a more solid understanding of what kind of information the Social Security Administration needs from your medical records in order to effectively evaluate your social security claim.

Is Your Condition in the Blue Book and Does it Match a Listing?

There are 14 categories of listings for adults, divided in a way to make it easier to navigate based on your impairment or disorder. They are:

  1. Musculoskeletal
  2. Special Senses (Vision/Hearing)
  3. Respiratory System
  4. Cardiovascular System
  5. Digestive System
  6. Genitourinary System
  7. Hematological Disorders
  8. Skin Disorders
  9. Endocrine Disorders
  10. Multiple Body Systems
  11. Neurological
  12. Mental Disorders
  13. Neoplastic Diseases (Cancer), and
  14. Immune System Disorders

If you find your impairment in the Social Security Blue Book, it is important to note that it does not mean you necessarily meet the listing. Each listing has specific criteria that would label it as debilitating enough to qualify for disability.

For example:

  • If you have issues with your back and spine, and your doctor orders imaging and diagnoses you with degenerative disc disease, you may think you’d qualify for disability under listing 1.04.
  • However, just having degenerative disc disease isn’t enough. There must be evidence in your medical records of nerve root compression, spinal arachnoiditis, or lumbar spinal stenosis. There are further requirements for that evidence as well. (Check out the listing here for more details).

The listings highlight the importance of making sure the Social Security Administration has the entirety of your medical records. They do order those themselves, but sometimes they do not have a full list of your providers, or they don’t have the full range of dates that you were seen.

If your condition does end up meeting a listing, your chances of a successful claim improve. However, even if your condition does not meet or equal a listing, that does not mean that you cannot be found disabled. It just mean that your disabilities don’t meet the specific criteria set forth at Step 3.

Get Social Security Disability Application Help

Working with an experienced SSDI/SSI disability attorney at Kapor | Davis & Associates can help improve your odds of being awarded benefits. In terms of the Social Security Blue Book, our attorneys have a thorough understanding of the technical nuances of meeting a listed condition.

We also order all of your records ourselves and work with you every step of the way to ensure your records are complete and comprehensive.

Should your disabilities equal a listing, we can make sure all the evidence is present and clear. If not, we can still help make a strong case for your SSDI Eligibility.

To learn how we can help you file your SSDI application or appeal a claim, contact us today for a free consultation.