The SSA’s Listing of Impairments

| Dec 13, 2019 | Firm News |

Like most in Georgia, you likely take pride in your job and your ability to support yourself and your family. Unfortunately, injuries or degenerative illnesses may impact that ability. 

You may feel as though as you need to struggle through it, however, due to the stigma that many people often associate with receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Many may believe that someone needs to simply claim to be disabled or convince a doctor to support their claims in order to qualify for such benefits. 

Qualifying for SSD benefits 

In reality, the SSA requires that anyone who makes a claim of disability must provide supporting evidence of an inability to engage in “substantial gainful activity.” This inability must be due to a medically determinable impairment that professionals could reasonably expect to lead to death or impact you for at least a period of 12 months. 

It goes without saying that the classification of a medically determinable impairment requires extensive clinical documentation. On top of that, the SSA maintains a detailed Listing of Impairments that clearly spell out the criteria that you must meet if you are to qualify for benefits. 

Say, for example, that you are suffering from chronic joint pain. Such a problem could potentially impact almost any career, from an office job to heavy-duty manual labor. Yet the regulations governing SSD benefits state that your pain must involve a gross anatomical deformity of the joint with both chronic pain and limitation of motion. In addition, the issues must be in either a major weight-bearing joint that limits your ability to ambulate effectively or a peripheral joint that impacts your ability to perform fine or gross movements. 

Identifying disability in children 

The Listing of Impairments maintained by the SSA applies specifically to adults. What if your child is disabled and you need added financial assistance to cover the cost of care? To meet the SSA’s criteria, your child’s condition must meet the same standard applied to adults minus the requirement to be unable to perform substantial gainful activity.