When you apply for Social Security Disability, certain mental disorders and physical problems may fit into specific categories called “listings.”
Generally, the Social Security Administration is supposed to consider whether your disability meets or equals a listing for physical and mental disorders. However, practically speaking, the social security administration seldom finds that you meet or equal a listing. Therefore, you will generally have to prove that you are disabled as your physical and mental residual functional capacity will prevent you from working at an easy job.
For example, there are listings of the Musculoskeletal System in the Social Security regulations under listing 1.00. Under listing 1.04 there are “Disorders of the Spine ” which discusses what you need to prove for degenerative disc disease or herniated nucleus pulposus.
Generally, the determination of whether or not you meet or equal a listing will be made based on your medical records. However, again, and in summary, the Social Security Administration will seldom find that you are disabled for meeting or equalling a listing, and your attorney will have to be prepared to argue from your medical records, and certain legal standards, that you are too physically and mentally disabled to perform even an easy job.