The Social Security Administration has two sets of guidelines.
The first set of guidelines is called the Listing of Impairments, and it consists of objective medical findings. If you are found to be afflicted by one of these specified impairments, your Michigan Social Security lawyer will be very confident that you will get approved for disability benefits.
The second set of guidelines, the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, apply only if you are both found not to be disabled under the Listing of Impairment guidelines and when you cannot work at any job in which you were previously employed. Essentially, these guidelines suggest that it may be possible to get hired for gainful employment in some other capacity than your prior employment history suggests. The Medical-Vocational Guidelines, as written, apply specifically to physical impairments and address primarily issues of fatigue and exertion in performing job required tasks. However, these guidelines have also been used as a standard for other cases not involving physical capacity.
In determining whether an individual can perform some other job readily available in the present economy, the Social Security Administration looks at a combination of age, education, work experience, and residual functional capacity.
The Listing of Impairments
The Social Security Administration has established a set of medical findings for many common physical and mental impairments called the Listing of Impairments. If you have internet access, you may view the Listings.
These Listings include impairments involving the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system and also certain mental disorders. The bottom line is, if you meet the criteria set forth in the Listing of Impairments, you will be found disabled by the Social Security Administration.
Alternatively, you may be found disabled if your impairment is as severe as a specific impairment in the Listing. If so, you as the claimant may be considered disabled because your impairments are “equal to the Listings.”
What is your treating doctor’s role in the Social Security Administration’s decision whether your impairment meets or equals the Listings?
The Social Security Administration considers the Listings more as fact than opinion. If your impairment coincides with these guidelines, you will be awarded disability benefits. However, the Social Security Administration must, by its own standards, consider all opinions from any treating doctor.
Should your impairment or combination of impairments not fit precisely within the Social Security’s Listings of Impairments, a Michigan Social Security disability lawyer will be your best resource to prove to the Social Security Administration how your impairments meet or equal the Listings.
Call our Michigan social security lawyers today for a free consultation: 1-800-LAWYERS.