Saturday, October 24, 2009

Listed Impairments

The best type of evidence for a Social Security Disability (“SSD”) claim is evidence that shows the claimant meets a “listed impairment.” If the criteria of a “listing” is met the applicant is presumed to be disabled, and no further medical or vocational development is required to approve SSD benefits.

I represent a 59 year old, whose past work was primarily in the security field. I sent the claimant for cognitive testing, which revealed a performance IQ between 60 and 70. I obtained a report from an arthritis specialist indicating that the claimant’s low back pain limited his ability to do full time sedentary work. I argued that those medical records showed the claimant met listing 12.05(C).

The SSA apparently agreed that the claimant met the listing because the application was approved in less than four months. Those familiar with the disability process know that approval within a few months is relatively rare. Medical sources should be asked from the outset for evidence to support a claimant’s meeting listing criteria because such claims are frequently screened for quick approval

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