Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

SSD benefits and the "Listing of Impairments"

When a person in Alabama has a serious medical condition, they may find that they are eventually forced to stop working due to their illness or injury. When this happens, they may seek Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

However, one cornerstone of the nation's SSD benefits system is that the person's impairment keeps them from engaging in any gainful activity, meaning that the person can no longer work enough to support him or herself financially. The Social Security Administration has a "Listing of Impairments," that is used to determine whether this element is met.

The Listing of Impairments provides a description of severe impairments that can occur in any major body system that prevents a person from engaging in any gainful activity. Usually these impairments are either permanent or terminal. For other impairments, it at least must be shown that they will last at least a year.

Part A of the Listing of Impairments lists the medical elements that need to be shown when evaluating whether a person age 18 or above qualifies as having a disability. Part B of the Listing of Impairments includes any additional elements that need to be shown when determining whether a child under 18-years-old has a disability.

Keep in mind that qualifying as disabled under the Listing of Impairments is only one part of determining whether one qualifies for SSD benefits. For example, a person with a disability must also have worked for a certain period (and thus had paid into the nation's Social Security system). A person also needs to provide sufficient medical evidence, and may be required to undergo a consultative exam. Since the application process can be complex and many initial claims are often denied, those wishing to apply for SSD benefits may want to consult with an attorney first.

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