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” are met the applicant is presumed to be disabled, and no further medical or vocational development is required to approve SSD benefits.
Multiple Sclerosis (“MS”) is typically treated by a neurologist. Therefore, when applying for SSD benefits based upon MS, the best type of evidence would be an opinion from a neurologist that the claimant meets the criteria under the 11.09 listing for MS.
I represent a 53 year old former secretary and bookkeeper for her husband’s business whose SSD application was approved yesterday, just one month after I submitted a narrative report from her neurologist explaining why the 11.09 criteria were met. The claimant was not even asked to be examined by a Social Security doctor.
The rapid approval was undoubtedly due to the listing opinion from the neurologist. The first thing I always do when analyzing a claim is to determine whether the claimant’s condition can meet or equal a listing, and then securing the necessary records and reports from the treating doctor. If a hearing has already been scheduled, showing that a claimant meets a listing is important because it makes it significantly more difficult for an Administrative Law Judge to deny the claim, or for the denial to be sustained on appeal.