The elusive list of medically disabling impairments

Since 1978 the “listing of impairments” have been used at Step 3 of the 5 step sequential evaluation process for Social Security disability determinations. They provide “per se” disabling criteria.  That is, if a claimant is not working and has conditions which satisfy the elements of the listed impairment they will be found disabled.  Below find a synopsis of the medical conditions found in the listings.

Keep in mind that the listings do change over time. They all have expiration dates and so the agency is constantly reviewing them.

Social Security has prepared a “blue book” for health care professionals who want more information about the Disability Program.  The blue book contains an easy to read copy of the Listings.  You can find it also online at

shoulder impingement, carpal tunnel syndrome, hip replacement, spinal cord disorders, knee injuries, ankle breaks, limb amputations and burns
loss of vision, hearing and speech, retinopathy, meniere’s disease
chronic pulmonary insufficiency, asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic pulmonary vascular hypertension, sleep apnea, lung transplant
chronic heart failure, ischemic heart disease, recurrent arrhythmias, symptomatic congenital heart disease, chronic venous insufficiency , peripheral arterial disease, heart transplant
gastrointestinal hemorrhage, hepatic (liver) dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease, short bowel syndrome, malnutrition
chronic renal (kidney) disease, diabetic nephropathy, chronic obstructive uropathy, hereditary nephropathies, nephritic syndrome
chronic thrombocytopenia, myelofibrosis, hereditary telangiectasia, coagulation defects, polycythemia vera, aplastic anemias with bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.
ichthyosis, bullous disease, chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, burns
hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus
epilepsy/seizures (grand mal, petit mal), stroke, brain or spinal cord tumors and brain trauma, Parkinson, cerebral palsy, MS, ALS, MD, peripheral neuropathies.
organic brain problems, psychosis, mood (depression, bipolar), mental retardation, anxiety (PTSD, panic, agoraphobia), somatoform, personality, substance abuse, autism
All cancers except those caused by HIV
lupus, systemic vasculitis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis,  undifferentiated & mixed connective tissue disease,scleroderma, ankylosing spondylitis, HIV, Immune deficiency disorders/infections (sepsis, meningitis, pneymonia, septic arthritis, endocarditis, sinusitis), rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthritis (gout, etc).
If you need more help with Social Security Disability, Call toll free at 1-800-481-0302.  Or visit us at our website.