My name is Scott Rubin. I'm a Social Security Disability attorney with Rubin & Badame. Here at Rubin & Badame we've represented thousands of clients for SSD and SSI throughout the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware areas.
What are the listings?
We often get questions about different disability factors. Among them are questions about the medical vocational guidelines, the grids or the listings. What is a listing? It used to be called the Blue Book. If an individual's impairments meet or functionally are the equivalent in severity to a certain listing, the person should be approved for social security.
For example, I have a client with a cardiac or heart condition that has suffered three heart attacks or myocardial infarctions. And he says to me, Scott, I had three heart attacks, shouldn't I be approved for social security disability? Not necessarily.
So we have to look at the test and see if they meet the Blue Book criteria, i.e., the listing of impairments under cardiac, and we have to measure the left ventricular ejection fraction of the heart. Another listing could be seizures, liver, breathing, pulmonary, GI problems, or rheumatoid arthritis.
With most of these illnesses, except for fibromyalgia and some other illnesses, there are studies that need to be performed. And we need the results of the studies, to show that they meet or have the functional equivalent of the listings.
Mental health cases
The same applies to mental health cases, whether it is major depressive disorder, organic brain syndrome, autism, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, OCD, schizoaffective disorders, schizophrenia, or personality disorders. Just because a person is diagnosed with that doesn't mean they meet the listings. For example, an individual with bipolar has to have been diagnosed as bipolar by a psychiatrist.
Meeting the listings' criteria
Then we go to the next part. Are there marked problems with concentration, persistence or pace? Maybe there are marked problems with information, understanding, remembering, or applying information. Are there marked or extreme problems interacting with people or adapting to usual work changes or work situations? Even with the mental health cases, we need to show that the listings are met.
There are listings for physical impairments and there are listings for mental health impairments. If an individual does not meet the listings, it doesn't mean they won't be approved. We can still have an individual approved if the evidence establishes that the claimant does not have the residual functional capacity to partake in any substantial gainful employment that exists in significant numbers in the national economy. But if a person's impairment is meet, or equals the functional equivalent of the physical listings or the mental health listings, they should be approved.