What is a "Listing" in Social Security Disability?

As I have written about previously, the Social Security Administration follows a 5 step process in determining whether an individual is disabled. The third step of this process is deciding whether the claimant meets or medically equals a "listing". Well put somewhat simply, a listing is a specific definition of an impairment that qualifies an individual for Social Security Disability if they have the necessary symptoms to the required degree.

Social Security has a massive list of dozens of impairments that you can find here. Many, if not all of these impairments have rather technical definitions. Because of this, your Social Security Disability lawyer is often the one making the argument to Administrative Law Judges that you meet one of these listings and therefore, should have your claim approved.

Listings are just one step of the Social Security Disability process

These listings are very carefully crafted and are a difficult standard to meet. This is intentional. The reason is if Social Security determines you meet a listing, you are approved on step 3 of the 5 step process, which is difficult to do. Most people that are approved must go through all 5 steps evaluating their ability to work other jobs.

So if you don't think you meet a listing or someone at your Social Security Disability hearing says you don't meet a listing, do not panic. This is very common and there are still opportunities for your claim to be approved. For more information about listings, I urge you to visit the Social Security Administration's website or talk to a


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