A “Listing” – The Social Security “Blue Book”
When an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) evaluates your claim for benefits, he or she must decide whether you meet or equal a listing. Most claimants have never heard of a listing. The simplest example is someone who is blind. I don’t mean just legally blind, partially corrected with glasses blind. I mean complete loss of vision in both eyes. There is a rule that indicates that if someone is blind, they should receive benefits, regardless of how mentally or physically limited they are other than their vision. A listing is basically a rule.
The group of disabling impairments make up the “Social Security Blue Book” commonly called “The Blue Book”. The Blue Book’s official title is “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security”. The Blue Book lists specific criteria that allow a claimant to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The “Blue Book” is divided into childhood and adult listings of various impairments, which are considered disabling conditions. The Blue Book includes evidence requirements of impairments and general information. There are numerous disabling medical conditions that are included in the Blue Book which are eligible for Social Security disability benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance as well as Supplemental Security Income.
How the Blue Book can qualify you for benefits.
The Blue Book contains various disabling conditions that can qualify you for Social Security disability benefits. These rules are designed to help the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) better understand the information that you need to supply with your disability claim to prove that you are disabled. An experienced disability lawyer can discuss your conditions with you, review your medical evidence, and help guide you through the process towards a favorable decision on your claim based on a listing. He or she can help decide if you meet or equal the listing or whether a diffent theory should be proposed as to why you should qualify for benefits. The meet means all technical requiresments are met. Equal a listing, means that the some of the technical requiremnts are met but not all; however, your symptoms and limitations are equal to what they would be if you equaled the listing. Listings are very technical. A disability lawyer, in my opinion, can be vital in obtaining the disability benefits you need and deserve.
What to do if you think you meet a listing.
The Blue Book is very specific as to what is required to meet or equal a listing. While it’s technical nature, it can be a useful road-map to obtaining benefits. Its important that any attorney representing claimants’ to have a thorough understanding of the listings and how medical evidence is applied to those rules. It is important if believe you meet or equal a listing to discuss it with your attorney (if you have one) and ultimately your medical providers. Ideally as an attorney, I would determine whether it is possible a listing may be met or equaled, and recommend that you should have a discussion with your doctor(s) about it. Its imperative that the medical evidence supporting the listing to be made part of the record. As the disability lawyer, I review the listings for any possible match as well as make sure the records that the support the listing are made part of the record. Click HERE for a free disability evaluation.