August 19, 2019

The Listing Strategy

How to Win Your Bi Polar Disability Case Using the Listing Argument

The “listing” argument is one of three possible strategies you can use to win your Social Security disability case.    Here are the key differences between these arguments:

  • Functional capacity argument – you and your attorney are contending that you are no longer a reliable employee and can no longer work.
  • Grid rules argument – recognizes those disability claimants with bi-polar disorder (or any other medical condition) and reflect the US Congress’ recognizing those who are over the age of 50, have a limited education, and minimal work skills.
  • Listing argument – this argument involves the SSA’s “listings” which describe in great detail and specific language those serious medical conditions and the impairments that result for the afflicted person which render them unable to work.

The listing argument and your bi-polar disability case

The listing that applies in bi-polar cases is Listing 12.04 – Affective Disorders.  Here is a link to this listing.

As you can see, the bi-polar listing requires proof of significant and severe symptoms, and evidence of both manic and depressive conditions.  Further, the bi-polar listing requires that your symptoms create major difficulties in your ability to concentrate and to perform activities of daily living.

Generally a disability claimant with a listing level condition would have difficulty surviving independently, much less performing the tasks of a job.  In order to win using this argument you and your attorney will need to submit treatment notes from a psychiatrist or psychologist, and, ideally a checklist form that tracks the language of the listing.

A supportive checklist that tracks the 12.04 listing can be very persuasive because to Social Security judges because such a checklist contains the precise information that the judge would need to approve to your claim.   However, a checklist alone, without consistent treatment records that reflect the same conclusions will not be given controlling weight by the judge.

The bi-polar listing is difficult to meet and you can still be found disabled under a functional capacity argument even if you do not meet the listing.  Click here to learn more about the functional capacity strategy.