Sequential Evaluation Process, a five part series: Part Three
Step three of the sequential evaluation process is quite easy to explain and easy to apply, but very difficult to meet. The third step involves the Listing of impairments. This is commonly called the "listing" in social security circles. The listing of impairments is exactly what it says. It is a list of medically determinable impairments that if met, qualify for disability according to the social security administration. Sounds easy enough. If your disability or impairment is on the list or your symptoms, medical signs and findings are medically equal to an impairment on the list, then you are disabled and therefore will receive disability benefits. If you are able to meet the listing then your sequential evaluation inquiry goes no further. You are disabled and you do not have to meet steps four and five. In order to meet the listing there must be an opinion from a medical expert hired by the social security administration. While this process sounds easy to meet it is very difficult to qualify under the listing due to the severity of the requisite elements found in the listing.
The good news for those of you who meet the listing is that the process is a lot quicker and often you will not need the advice and service of a qualified social security disability attorney. Many claimants' applications will be approved if they meet the listing. However the bad news lies in how rare claimants meet the listing of impairments. Claimants generally do not have a disability that is severe enough to meet the listing of impairments. If you do not meet the listing you should contact an experienced social security disability attorney. Your case is not all lost if you do not meet the listing, but your chances improve dramatically with an attorney on your side.
If you do not meet the listing of impairments there is still hope for your claim. If you do not meet the listing you will proceed to the next step of the sequential evaluation process to see if you are qualified for disability benefits.
The next step will be here before you know it. Stay tuned.