What Does the Listing of Impairments Consist of?
Your Augusta disability law firm attorney will tell you that the Listing (which can be found at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/index.htm) consists of a set of medical findings for various common (and uncommon) mental and physical impairments. A patient is determined to be disabled if his or her impairment “meets” the Listing’s criteria. However, your Augusta disability law firm attorney will inform you that a patient can also “equal” the Listing’s criteria if his or her impairment is as serious as an impairment found in the Listing.
How Important Is the Treating Physician’s Opinion?
Your Augusta disability law firm will advise that the Social Security Administration (SSA) takes into consideration the treating physician’s opinion regarding whether or not a claimant meets or equals the Listings. However, your Augusta disability law firm attorney will also advise that the SSA makes it clear that the final determination belongs solely to the Administration.
Although any treating physician’s opinion will not be ignored by the SSA, when it comes to the Listings, the Administration considers the physician more of a source of medical evidence, and that medical facts are more important than medical opinions when it comes to deciding whether the Listings have been met.
How Does SSA Determine if One Is Disabled?
Your Augusta disability law office attorney knows that two sets of regulations are crucial to the SSA when determining disability. Disability is determined if a patient’s impairment is found in the Listing of Impairments, regardless of whether or not a claimant and his or her Augusta disability law office attorney can show that the ability to perform past relevant work is still present.
If a determination of disability cannot be made from the Listing and a claimant has shown an inability to perform past relevant work, the Medical-Vocational Guidelines will be used. A direct application of the Guidelines can only be used with impairments that result in exertional limitations; in other cases they will be used only as a framework to make a decision. The combination of a claimant’s education, age, residual functional capacity and work experience are all considered under the Guidelines.
Contact Social Security Disability For Legal Assistance
If you have questions concerning the Listing of Impairments and how it is used to determine Social Security disability, contact an experienced and knowledgeable Augusta disability law office attorney by calling Wilkinson & Magruder, LLP at 706-737-0771 to request a free consultation.