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Home » Glossary » Listing of Impairments

Definition of Listing of Impairments

The SSA Listing of Impairments (also referred to as the Blue Book and more formally as the Disability Evaluation under Social Security) describes the major diseases and impairments and their corresponding symptoms which the SSA considers automatically disabling. Each condition and their symptoms in the listing are considered so severe the SSA has determined if the claimant has one of the conditions they are automatically unable to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA).

Conditions in the Listing of Impairments are also expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or result in death. Claimants who meet or exceed a listing are most likely to win benefits. Consider, however, claimants must provide evidence to the SSA establishing their diagnosis and describing their symptoms.

Claimants may also be approved if their condition does not meet or equal a listing, but it will be much more difficult. Most claimants will have their case denied at the application level if they do not meet a listing, although they can appeal the denial. To win benefits without meeting a listing the claimant will have to prove they do not have the residual capacity to work. This can be done through a medical vocational allowance. The Listing of Impairments has two parts: Part A and Part B. Adults are evaluated under Part A and children are evaluated under Part B. Talk to a disability lawyer about whether you can prove your condition meets or equals a listing.

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