Nancy Withers, Michelle Parsons, and Maureen Nowak
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General Issues

Social Security Listing of Impairments, Musculoskeletal 1.01

Six of the thirteen musculoskeletal Listings (musculoskeletal is the evaluation of the bones and joints) require the inability to ambulate effectively on a sustained basis.  Before looking at the individual listing in section 1.01 of the listing of impairments we must first look at SSA definition of inability to ambulate effectively.

Per SSA’s definition “inability to ambulate effectively means an extreme limitation of the ability to walk; i.e., an impairment(s) that interferes very seriously with the individual’s ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities. Ineffective ambulation is defined generally as having insufficient lower extremity functioning to permit independent ambulation without the use of a hand-held assistive device(s) that limits the functioning of both upper extremities.

“To ambulate effectively, individuals must be capable of sustaining a reasonable walking pace over a sufficient distance to be able to carry out activities of daily living. They must have the ability to travel without companion assistance to and from a place of employment or school. Therefore, examples of ineffective ambulation include, but are not limited to, the inability to walk without the use of a walker, two crutches or two canes, the inability to walk a block at a reasonable pace on rough or uneven surfaces, the inability to use standard public transportation, the inability to carry out routine ambulatory activities, such as shopping and banking, and the inability to climb a few steps at a reasonable pace with the use of a single hand rail. The ability to walk independently about one’s home without the use of assistive devices does not, in and of itself, constitute effective ambulation.”

The explanation and examples are intended to mean an individual who can only walk with the aid of hand-held assistive devices requiring the use of both upper extremities.  Also, anyone with an ineffective gait who cannot use assistive device would meet the definition.  An example of a person who cannot use an assistive devices would be a person who has shoulder pain and cannot use crutches or a person with hand limitation and cannot grip canes.  SSA views activities of daily living as your day to day routines such as cooking, cleaning your home, laundry, going shopping, caring for your pets, personal hygiene and social activities.   SSA evaluates your ability to do these daily activities when making a decision on your case.

Next we will go through the requirements for listing 1.02 major dysfunction of a joint.

If you have more questions about any information in our blogs, please give Representative Services a call 515-271-8186.

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