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Monday, March 9, 2009

Disability Benefit Tip: Meeting a Social Security Listing of Impairment

Social Security Disability claims are decided by a five step sequential evaluation. At Step 3, adjudicators evaluate claims to determine if they meet the criteria of the Social Security Listing of Impairments. If you are found to be disabled at Step 3 of the process, your claim will be approved without proceeding to Steps 4 or 5.

The Listings are divided into 14 different body systems. They describe various major illnesses and conditions and generally have very strict requirements to meet.

Although Social Security staff and adjudicators are trained to look for cases that meet a Listing, cases can still slip through the cracks. If you believe your condition meets a Listing, you can provide Social Security with documentation from your doctors to prove your claim. Give your doctor a copy of the Listing so he or she will can provide the specific information that matches the requirements of the Listing for the claim to be approved. The doctor will also usually be asked to provide objective evidence and testing, not just an opinion that you are not able to work. If your doctor is unfamiliar with the process or would like assistance completing the paperwork, you can always contact a disability lawyer.

REMEMBER: The Listing of Impairments uses very strict criteria to determine disability. Even if you do not meet a Listing, you can still qualify for benefits by proving that you do not have the functional capacity needed to work.

Copyright (c) 2008 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved. For assistance with your Long Term Disability claim, ERISA Disability benefit claim, Social Security Disability claim, or Veterans Disability compensation or pension claim, call Disability Lawyer John Tucker at (866) 282-5260.

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