The third step in the five-step sequential evaluation process involves determining whether any of your severe impairments meet or equal a listing in the Social Security Disability list of listings. The Social Security Administration has exhaustively analyzed various medical conditions, assigning diagnosis codes to most in modern medicine. From these conditions, the administration has come up with specific tests within its listings to assess the severity of a medical condition and determine whether you are what it deems disabled.
For example, in the case of multiple sclerosis — a chronic condition affecting the neurological system — the Social Security Administration has established a listing that requires presenting specific evidence, such as an MRI that shows white matter lesions on the brain.
Meeting the detailed criteria outlined in the listings can be considerably challenging, making it difficult to completely satisfy a listing’s requirements. However, even if you do not meet a listing, it does not necessarily mean you will be deemed not disabled; it often results in transitioning to the next step in the evaluation process.
The Social Security Administration has expanded the listing process to accommodate those who deal with chronic and severe medical conditions, such as stage four cancer. Initially, meeting a listing required presenting very specific details or evidence, which became problematic in certain cases. Consequently, the administration adjusted its policy, allowing individuals with severe diagnoses to demonstrate that they received the diagnosis without fulfilling the full listing criteria.
This expansion is evident by the Compassionate Allowance Program, where the administration streamlined the disability determination process for certain severe conditions. Under this program, you only need to prove that you have been diagnosed with specific severe conditions. Many of these are actually life-threatening.
A list of conditions covered under the Compassionate Allowance Program is available on the Social Security Administration’s website. Understanding these changes in the listing process can be vital if you find yourself undergoing the disability evaluation process.
For more information on Step Three Of The Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (833) 444-4127 today.