Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

What does the SSA mean by medical equivalence?

Social Security Disability Income can sometimes be a confusing prospect for Staten Islanders who are unsure if they meet the criteria. One of the keys to getting SSDI benefits is to have an impairment that is on the Listing of Impairments. However, if the injury, illness or condition does not specifically appear on the listing, people might not realize that they can still get benefits if it is medically equivalent to one that is listed.

Understanding what is meant by medical equivalence is imperative to a case. If the person's impairment is equal in severity and duration to a listed impairment, it is medically equivalent. There are three ways in which the Social Security Administration will assess medical equivalence.

First, if the impairment is listed but the person does not have one or more of the findings on the listing or if the person has all the findings but the severity is not sufficient to meet that listing, the SSA will find that the impairment is medically equivalent. Second, if the impairment is not described in the listing, the SSA will check for impairments that are comparable. If there is equal medical significance to an impairment that is listed, this is enough to be medically equivalent. Third, if there is a combination of impairments with none meeting a listing, there will be a comparison to those that are similar. If it is found that these meet the same medical significance of a listed impairment, it will be considered a medical equivalent.

Medical equivalence is an aspect of SSDI that many might not know about. Before automatically thinking the claim will be denied, it is important to have help from a law firm experienced in Social Security Disability Income.

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