I think that this question really depends on your judge and the other impairments they have in conjunction with the spinal issues. I have seen strict adherence to the listings by some judges vs not so strict by others (including one judge who ruled on this listing without the claimant having a flex test in the file).
This comment is provided for informational purposes only, and is not to be considered legal advice and/or the establishment of an attorney/client relationship.
As a general rule, most judges require you to have all the findings to "meet" the listing. Otherwise, if you do not exactly meet the listing but have other medical problems, SSA will consider first whether the combination "equals" a listing - the combo effect is just as bad as the primary condition alone - or decide what you are still able to do despite your impairments.
SSA cases are not easy any more. You might want to consider talking to a local attorney. You may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact your local legal aid office if you cannot afford an attorney. If there is a law school in your area, you may contact their legal clinic as well.
You may also contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is www.nosscr.org.
In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.
Their link is: http://www.nblsc.us/
I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.
The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.
It is extremely rare that your condition will meet the listing. The exception is for mental conditions which can be meet using multiple lists. Essentially, you are trying to show that your condition is comparable or exceeds the listing.
Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by attorney Clint Curtis as general information and not specific legal advice. Specific advice can only be provided after a complete analysis of all information related to the asker. No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of the information provided. If you have additional questions please contact the law office.
The difference in degrees doesn't matter, though any evidence you can bring in to show the medically accepted tolerance can be helpful. If you have a disability of any sort, and it affects your ability to work, get medical evidence (usually a diagnosis) of the disability and add it to your case. The judge will review everything you give them, so don't withhold less than perfect evidence simply because it doesn't meet a rule. Some judges can be very flexible, so put everything you have into it and see what happens. If you don't have an SSDI attorney, you are taking a real risk as there are so many exceptions and details they will know to look for due to experience. I highly recommend you consider retaining an attorney for your hearing. This will be your best opportunity to win your claim, and your attorney will only be awarded 25% of your past due benefits up to $6,000.
As may be stated elsewhere on this site, my comments should not be construed as legal advice. Until I have signed an attorney fee agreement with you, I do not represent you. Reviewing comments by attorneys on any website can be helpful, but should not be considered a replacement for representation by actual legal counsel.