Contact Us

Contact Us Today for a FREE Case Evaluation

(800) 608-8881

Social Security Disability Claims: What it Means to ‘Equal a Listing’

Social Security Disability AttorneyThe Social Security Administration (SSA) has a ‘Blue Book,’ which lists the impairments that qualify for disability benefits. Of course, not everyone’s illness or medical condition fits perfectly in a box. This raises an important question: What happens if you have a disability or medical condition that does not quite fit with Social Security’s list?

The good news is you can still get access to Social Security disability benefits — if you can prove your condition is the medial equivalent of a listed impairment. Here, attorney Harold W. Conick explains key things you need to know about Social Security disability claims and medical equivalence.

Federal Law: Medical Equivalence

Under federal law (Code of Federal Regulations § 404.1526), ‘equaling a listing’ (medical equivalence) is defined as an impairment that, while not listed, is similar to the severity and duration of a listed impairment.

Through medical equivalence, an applicant who does not quite meet the SSA’s listed requirements can still qualify for disability benefits. As a rule, there are three (3) primary ways applicants prove a medical equivalence in a Social Security disability claim:

  1. 1. Less Severe or Missing Symptoms: If you have a condition listed by the SSA, but you lack certain listed symptoms or some of your symptoms are less severe than stated by the listing, you may still be eligible for SSDI benefits by proving medical equivalence.
  2. 2. Substantially Similar Impairment: Applicants can seek SSDI benefits on the grounds their impairment is substantially like a listed impairment. If your condition is not listed but the severity and effects are materially like a listed impairment, you can prove medical equivalence.
  3. 3. Multiple Impairments: Finally, Social Security disability benefits may be available to an applicant who lacks a single listed impairment, but who has multiple overlapping mental or physical impairments that, when viewed collectively, are the equivalent of a listed impairment.

Applicants Have the Burden of Proof

Medical equivalence claims are notoriously complex. If you are applying for benefits on the grounds your impairment is equal to a listed disability, it is imperative you are ready to seek professional guidance. Remember the burden of proof in an SSDI claim is always placed on the applicant.

You need to be prepared to present a strong argument that is supported by well-organized, comprehensive medical evidence. In reviewing medical equivalence claims, the SSA will consider the totality of the circumstances. If your SSDI claim was denied on the grounds that you failed to ‘equal a listing’, an experienced Social Security disability attorney can help.

Call Our Chicago Metropolitan SSDI Appeals Lawyer for Immediate Help

At Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd., our Illinois Social Security disability attorneys are tough, successful advocates for our clients. We represent clients through every stage of the appeals process. If you have questions about equal listing disability claims, please Harold W. Conick now for a free, no obligation consultation. We serve communities throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area and beyond.