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Social Security Disability Prgram
Proving disability caused by listed disorders  

Social Security maintains a list of medical disorders so severe that people who have them are automatically eligible for SSD, provided they also meet the non-medicial eligibility requirements.

To document a disability claim based on a listed disorder, you must present detailed medical records that not only establish the diagnosis, but also show that the condition is accompanied by clinical findings that are generally present in only the most severe cases. Relatively few people who qualify for SSD have listed disorders.

Proving disability caused by non-listed disorders  

If your medical condition has not progressed to the point that it meets the requirements of one of the listed disorders, you can still qualify for SSD by proving that your impairment prevents you from working. Proof requires a highly individualized determination that takes your medical condition, as well as your age, education and work experience, into account.

Because no two cases are exactly alike, the proof is critical and unique to each case. For example:

•  A 52-year-old former tractor trailer driver with a sixth-grade education will be awarded SSD by proving that a medical disorder limits him to a sit-down job with little or no lifting.

•  A 34-year-old clerk-typist and high school graduate with exactly the same impairment will lose.

•  A 58-year-old machine operator with the same condition may win or lose, depending on an evaluation of his job skills presented by a vocational expert at a hearing before a Social Security judge.  
Most SSD claims stand or fall on determinations like these. Most of the time, it is as important to carefully document relevant non-medical factors, such as education and work skills, as it is to prove the underlying medical disorder and the limitations associated with it.

Proving Disability
Applying for Social Security Disability
Qualifying for Social Security Disability
Proving Disability
The Role of the Lawyer
Legal Fees
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