We've blogged about Compassionate Allowances and the Medical Listing of Impairments before. Both share a very important role: they offer expedited avenues for individuals with severe impairments who meet specific requirement to receive their benefits as quickly as possible.
The Medical Listing of Impairments includes 14 different subgroups that classify specific impairments for each of the major body systems that the Social Security Administration considers to be severe enough to prevent an individual from doing any gainful activity, regardless of his or her age, education, or past work experience. Some individuals will, without a doubt, "meet" a Medical Listing. Some individuals, on the other hand, may "equal" a Medical Listing. This means that, although they do not specifically meet the requirements, the severity of their impairment is equal to that of an individual who does meet the requirements.
As always, we're constantly on the look out for ways to help our clients. While the Compassionate Allowance and Medical Listing of Impairments are wonderful tools, they are not all inclusive. The Social Security Administration recently released a Program Operating Manual System (POMS) update regarding the finding of a disability based on the Listing of Impairments. Within the update, an example is used to explain an "unlisted impairment." This example compares an individual with chronic migraine headaches to the requirements of Medical Listing 11.03 (a Listing for non-convulsive Epilepsy).
At current time, a Medical Listing of Impairment for migraine headaches does not exist--but, that doesn't mean they aren't disabling. At Binder and Binder®, we know that headache sufferers may endure recurring headaches, migraines and cluster headaches, and these can keep them from working, spending time with their kids, and functioning normally in the world. We're constantly on the lookout for ways to help our clients when it comes to proving their disability.