Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration

Medical Evidence as Basis for Decision of "Disabled" -- Listing of Impairments

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

607. Medical Evidence as Basis for Decision of "Disabled" -- Listing of Impairments

607.1 When is medical evidence alone enough to establish your disability?

Medical evidence alone may establish that you are disabled if:

  1. The evidence shows that you have an impairment as described in Part A of the Listing of Impairments (see §607.2); this is called "meeting" a listing; or

  2. The evidence shows you have an impairment or combination of impairments that is medically as severe as a listed impairment; this is called "medically equaling" a listing.

You must not be engaging in any substantial gainful activity.

607.2 How is the Listing of Impairments used to establish disability?

The Listing of Impairments (the listings) is set out in our regulations. The listings are in two parts. There are listings for adults (part A) and for children (part B). If you are age 18 or over, we use part A when we assess your claim and we never use the listings in part B. If you are under age 18, we first use the listings in part B. If the listings in part B do not apply, and your specific disease process(es) has a similar effect on adults and children, we then use the listings in part A. The listings are examples of common impairments for each of the major body systems that we consider severe enough to keep an adult from doing any gainful activity or, for a child under age 18 applying for SSI disability payments, causes marked and severe functional limitations. See appendix 1 of subpart P of part 404 of Social Security's regulations for the Listing of Impairments.

The listed impairments are of such a level of severity that we would consider a person whose impairment(s) meets or equals the Listing of Impairments to be unable to do any gainful activity, that is, the impairment(s) is expected to result in death, or to last for a specific duration, or the evidence must show that the listed impairment has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months in a row.

607.3 Is the diagnosis of an impairment in the Listing enough to establish your disability?

No. A diagnosis alone does not meet the guidelines of the Listing simply because it is the same diagnosis as a listed impairment. To be considered as "meeting" a listing, the impairment must have the symptoms, clinical signs, and laboratory findings specified in the Listing.

Note: If you are statutorily blind you do not need to show the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity to establish a period of disability (see §617).

607.4 What does this mean for children under age 18 applying for SSI?

We follow the same rules for a child under age 18 filing for SSI disability payments, to determine if the child's impairment(s) meets or medically equals a listing.

Last Revised: Jan. 30, 2006

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

There are 4 Comments

My brother is here for two weeks from another state where he has been living for the past 13 years. He was on disability social security 8 years ago but lost it after he tried to work and did work for 14 months, but due to his chronic medical conditions which worsened, he could not continue. When he tried to get his disability back, he was denied. His incompetent lawyer misrepresented him on his appeal and he lost his appeal.
He has been living horribly the last 8 years without disability payments; he cannot work because of his condition. His wife works full time and they struggle horribly; he cannot afford his meds or dr's visits. he is 50 and looks more like 70. Can he apply here in his hometown so that if he does get turned down, we can get a lawyer we know here to represent him (who did last time when he did get his social sec.) Can you apply outside of your home state. If necessary we will bring him back home if necessary for any application reasons.
thanks for your help.

In general, for retirement, disability, and survivor benefits, Social Security is a national program, and I am unfamiliar with the need to apply in any particular state. In fact, to a degree, you can apply for benefits from outside the United States.

However, SSI, which can have a disability component, is administered differently among the states. So if your brother is applying for SSI disability, he may have to do that from his home.

Please contact the SSA to confirm for your specific case.

I need to add more more information to my SS claims file
I need to get online at the online on the intenet.
What do I have to do?

If you have applied for Social Security benefits, you can check the status of your application online at the following :

The application status will show you:

  • when your application was received
  • if additional documents were requested
  • the address of the office that is processing you application
  • if a decision has been made

If you prefer, or if you are unable to check the status of your application online, you can:

  • Call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Contact your local Social Security office

Sponsored Links

Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration