Indiana residents who can no longer work due to a medical condition may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. In order to qualify for SSD benefits, the individual applying for benefits must show that their condition meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) definition of disability. The easiest way to prove this is to show that your condition is included on the SSA’s Listing of Impairments.
What is the Listing of Impairments?
The SSA’s Listing of Impairments is essentially a list of medical conditions for each major body system that are considered severe enough to keep an adult individual from ‘substantial gainful activity.’ Part A of the Listing generally applies to adults, while Part B of the Listing applies to children under the age of 18, but Part A criteria can be used to evaluate children in certain situations. Generally, the condition must be permanent, be expected to result in death, or have lasted or be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months. However, some conditions have different duration criteria specified in the Listing.
Determining whether an individual’s impairment is included in the Listing of Impairments is the third step in the disability claim evaluation process. The SSA will first determine whether you are engaging in substantial gainful activity (not working at all or working, but not at a substantial gainful activity (SGA) level) and then determine if your impairment is severe.
If an individual’s impairment meets the criteria in the Listing of Impairments, that is enough to prove that they are ‘disabled,’ according to the terms of the SSA, and they will qualify for disability benefits.
What if my condition is not listed?
Having a condition included in the Listing of Impairments is often the easiest way to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, but it is not the only way. If your condition is not listed, the SSA will evaluate your past relevant work and your residual functional capacity in step four, and your ability to adjust to other work in step five of the evaluation process. If the SSA finds that you cannot do your past relevant work and cannot adjust to other work, the SSA will determine that you are ‘disabled’ and award you benefits. An SSD attorney can represent you throughout the process and give you the best chance at avoiding denial of your application for benefits.