How Does Social Security Evaluate My Medical Condition?

Social Security set up a list of the most common medical conditions in the Commissioner's Regulations found at Appendix 1, Subpart P of 20 C.F.R. Section 404. The "Listings" are broken down by categories for adults and there is a separate set of Listings for children. The categories include orthopedic, special senses, respiratory, cardiac, mental impairments, cancers and immune system disorders as well as other categories totaling 14 in all. The Commissioner's Listings are called "presumptive disability" impairments. In addition, presumptive Listings in the Regulations, Social Security Rulings and "POMS" (Program Operations Manual System) are added for conditions which were not included in the Listings. There are Rulings for chronic fatigue syndrome, interstitial cystitis, post-polio syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome/chronic regional pain syndrome and Tourmaline Asbestosis. These Rulings and other rulings also provide instructions on how to process certain medical conditions including obesity and visual field loss. There are some acquiescence rulings which apply to specific jurisdictions based upon regional court cases.

Finally, there are "POMS" or the Program Operations Manual System which is actually written for SSA and State Agency employees to provide instructions on how to process claims. There are some "POMS" dedicated to processing certain medical conditions including statutory blindness, Black Lung disease, end-stage renal disease/dialysis/kidney transplant. One "POMS" for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) allows Social Security to waive the Medicare waiting period.

If you have any questions as to whether you qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits, you can contact this office for a free consultation.