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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

  


 

Health Hippo: Evaluations of Social Security Disability

 

The Social Security Administration administers two programs that provide benefits based on disability: the Social Security disability program (Title II) and the supplemental security income program (Title XVI). Title II provides benefits to individuals who are insured under the Act by virtue of their contributions to the Social Security trust fund through tax on their earnings. Title XVI provides payments to individuals who are disabled and have limited income and resources.

What follows is a linked outline to legal resources organized under the Office of Hearings and Appeals five-step sequential evaluation process for reviewing social security disability claims, as set out in 20 CFR 404.1520. The rules under Title II and XVI are identical in most cases, so only Title II rules are linked below.

  • Social Security Ruling 86-8: THE SEQUENTIAL EVALUATION PROCESS. The regulations state that a sequential evaluation process is followed whereby current work activity, severity and duration of the impairment(s), ability to do past work and vocational factors are considered in that order.

1. Substantial Gainful Activity

  • Social Security Ruling 83-34: SELF-EMPLOYED PERSONS. In determining whether a self-employed individual is engaging in SGA, consideration must be given to the individual's activities and their value to his or her business.
  • Social Security Ruling 83-35: AVERAGING OF EARNINGS. Method of averaging earnings for determinations as to whether work is substantial gainful activity (SGA) under the disability provisions of the law.
  • Social Security Ruling 84-25: UNSUCCESSFUL WORK ATTEMPT. Determining whether substantial work activity that is discontinued or reduced below a specified level may be considered an unsuccessful work attempt (UWA) under the disability provisions of the law.
  • Social Security Ruling 85-5c: AVERAGING EARNINGS FROM EMPLOYMENT. Claimant's employment at the department store, along with the evidence of her satisfactory work performance, showed that she had engaged in SGA.
  • Social Security Ruling 94-1c: ILLEGAL ACTIVITY AS SUBSTANTIAL GAINFUL ACTIVITY. Finding that neither the Act nor the regulations recognizes a distinction between lawful and unlawful activity for purposes of determining SGA, the court of appeals concluded that illegal activity can constitute SGA.
  • 20 CFR 404.429, Earnings; defined.
  • 20 CFR 404.1571, General.
  • 20 CFR 404.1572, What we mean by substantial gainful activity.
  • 20 CFR 404.1573, General information about work activity.
  • 20 CFR 404.1574, Evaluation guides if you are an employee.
  • 20 CFR 404.1575, Evaluation guides if you are self-employed. , Impairment-related work expenses.

2. Severe Impairment

  • BOWEN v. YUCKERT, 482 U.S. 137 (1987) The severity regulation increases the efficiency and reliability of the disability evaluation process by identifying at an early stage those claimants whose medical impairments are so slight that it is unlikely they would be found to be disabled even if their age, education, and experience were taken into account.
  • Social Security Ruling 82-52: DURATION OF THE IMPAIRMENT. In considering "duration," it is the inability to engage in SGA because of the impairment that must last the required 12-month period.
  • Social Security Ruling 85-28: MEDICAL IMPAIRMENTS THAT ARE NOT SEVERE. To clarify the policy for determining when a person's impairment(s) may be found "not severe" and, thus, the basis for a finding of "not disabled" in the sequential evaluation of disability, and thereby reflect certain circuit court decisions that have taken issue with the Secretary's previously stated definition of "not severe" impairments.
  • Social Security Ruling 96-3p: CONSIDERING ALLEGATIONS OF PAIN AND OTHER SYMPTOMS IN DETERMINING WHETHER A MEDICALLY DETERMINABLE IMPAIRMENT IS SEVERE. An individual's symptoms may cause limitations and restrictions in functioning which, when considered at step 2, may require a finding that there is a "severe" impairment(s) and a decision to proceed to the next step of sequential evaluation.
  • Social Security Ruling 96-4p: SYMPTOMS, MEDICALLY DETERMINABLE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL IMPAIRMENTS, AND EXERTIONAL AND NONEXERTIONAL LIMITATIONS.
    • A "symptom" is not a "medically determinable physical or mental impairment" and no symptom by itself can establish the existence of such an impairment.
    • In the absence of a showing that there is a "medically determinable physical or mental impairment," an individual must be found not disabled at step 2 of the sequential evaluation process. No symptom or combination of symptoms can be the basis for a finding of disability, no matter how genuine the individual's complaints may appear to be, unless there are medical signs and laboratory findings demonstrating the existence of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment.
    • The terms "exertional" and "nonexertional" in the regulations describe types of functional limitations or restrictions resulting from a medically determinable physical or mental impairment; i.e., exertional limitations affect an individual's ability to meet the strength demands of jobs, and nonexertional limitations or restrictions affect an individual's ability to meet the nonstrength demands of jobs. Therefore, a symptom in itself is neither exertional nor nonexertional. Rather, it is the nature of the functional limitations or restrictions caused by an impairment-related symptom that determines whether the impact of the symptom is exertional, nonexertional, or both.
    • The application of the medical-vocational rules in appendix 2 of subpart P of Regulations No. 4 depends on the nature of the limitations and restrictions imposed by an individual's medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s), and any related symptoms.
  • Social Security Ruling 99-2p: EVALUATING CASES INVOLVING CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME (CFS). This Ruling explains that CFS, when accompanied by appropriate medical signs or laboratory findings, is a medically determinable impairment that can be the basis for a finding of "disability." It also provides guidance for the evaluation of claims involving CFS.
  • 20 CFR 404.1504, Determinations by other organizations and agencies. A decision by any nongovernmental agency or any other governmental agency about whether you are disabled or blind is based on its rules and is not our decision about whether you are disabled or blind. We must make a disability or blindness determination based on social security law. Therefore, a determination made by another agency that you are disabled or blind is not binding on us.
  • 20 CFR 404.1508, What is needed to show an impairment.
  • 20 CFR 404.1509, How long the impairment must last.
  • 20 CFR 404.1512, Evidence of your impairment.
  • 20 CFR 404.1513, Medical evidence of your impairment (acceptable sources).
  • 20 CFR 404.1519, The consultative examination..
  • 20 CFR 404.1519a, When we will purchase a consultative examination and how we will use it.
  • 20 CFR 404.1521, What we mean by an impairment that is not severe.

3. Meets or Equals a Listing

  • Listing of Impairments -- Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404.
  • Listing of Impairmentshyperlinked version.
  • Social Security Ruling 96-6p: MEDICAL EQUIVALENCE. The administrative law judge or the Appeals Council must obtain an updated medical expert opinion before a decision of disability based on medical equivalence can be made. Equals = 1) missing a sign; 2) different impairment; 3) combination of impairments.
  • Obesity: Revised Medical Criteria for Determination of Disability (Final Rule: August 24, 1999). Although many individuals with obesity are appropriately found "disabled" within the meaning of the Social Security Act (the Act), we have determined that the criteria in listing 9.09 were not appropriate indicators of listing-level severity because they did not represent a degree of functional limitation that would prevent an individual from engaging in any gainful activity.

3.5. Residual Functional Capacity

  • Social Security Ruling 96-2p: GIVING CONTROLLING WEIGHT TO TREATING SOURCE MEDICAL OPINIONS. The provision recognizes the deference to which a treating source's medical opinion should be entitled. It does not permit us to substitute our own judgment for the opinion of a treating source on the issue(s) of the nature and severity of an impairment when the treating source has offered a medical opinion that is well-supported by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques and is not inconsistent with other substantial evidence.
  • Social Security Ruling 96-5p: MEDICAL SOURCE OPINIONS ON ISSUES RESERVED TO THE COMMISSIONER. How we consider medical source opinions on issues reserved to the Commissioner, including whether an individual's impairment(s) meets or is equivalent in severity to the requirements of any impairment(s) in the Listing of Impairments in appendix 1, subpart P of 20 CFR part 404 (the listings); what an individual's residual functional capacity (RFC) is; whether an individual's RFC prevents him or her from doing past relevant work; how the vocational factors of age, education, and work experience apply; and whether an individual is "disabled" under the Social Security Act (the Act).
  • Social Security Ruling 96-6p: CONSIDERATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE FINDINGS OF FACT BY STATE AGENCY MEDICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSULTANTS AND OTHER PROGRAM PHYSICIANS AND PSYCHOLOGISTS AT THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE AND APPEALS COUNCIL LEVELS OF ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW. Findings of fact made by State agency medical and psychological consultants and other program physicians and psychologists regarding the nature and severity of an individual's impairment(s) must be treated as expert opinion evidence of non-examining sources at the administrative law judge and Appeals Council levels of administrative review. Administrative law judges and the Appeals Council may not ignore these opinions and must explain the weight given to these opinions in their decisions.
  • Social Security Ruling 96-7p: ASSESSING THE CREDIBILITY OF AN INDIVIDUAL'S STATEMENTS.
    • No symptom or combination of symptoms can be the basis for a finding of disability, no matter how genuine the individual's complaints may appear to be, unless there are medical signs and laboratory findings demonstrating the existence of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) that could reasonably be expected to produce the symptoms.
    • When the existence of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) that could reasonably be expected to produce the symptoms has been established, the intensity, persistence, and functionally limiting effects of the symptoms must be evaluated to determine the extent to which the symptoms affect the individual's ability to do basic work activities. This requires the adjudicator to make a finding about the credibility of the individual's statements about the symptom(s) and its functional effects.
    • Because symptoms, such as pain, sometimes suggest a greater severity of impairment than can be shown by objective medical evidence alone, the adjudicator must carefully consider the individual's statements about symptoms with the rest of the relevant evidence in the case record in reaching a conclusion about the credibility of the individual's statements if a disability determination or decision that is fully favorable to the individual cannot be made solely on the basis of objective medical evidence.
    • In determining the credibility of the individual's statements, the adjudicator must consider the entire case record, including the objective medical evidence, the individual's own statements about symptoms, statements and other information provided by treating or examining physicians or psychologists and other persons about the symptoms and how they affect the individual, and any other relevant evidence in the case record. An individual's statements about the intensity and persistence of pain or other symptoms or about the effect the symptoms have on his or her ability to work may not be disregarded solely because they are not substantiated by objective medical evidence.
    • It is not sufficient for the adjudicator to make a single, conclusory statement that "the individual's allegations have been considered" or that "the allegations are (or are not) credible." It is also not enough for the adjudicator simply to recite the factors that are described in the regulations for evaluating symptoms. The determination or decision must contain specific reasons for the finding on credibility, supported by the evidence in the case record, and must be sufficiently specific to make clear to the individual and to any subsequent reviewers the weight the adjudicator gave to the individual's statements and the reasons for that weight.
  • Social Security Ruling 96-8p: ASSESSING RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY IN INITIAL CLAIMS.
    • Ordinarily, RFC is an assessment of an individual's ability to do sustained work-related physical and mental activities in a work setting on a regular and continuing basis. A "regular and continuing basis" means 8 hours a day, for 5 days a week, or an equivalent work schedule.
    • The RFC assessment considers only functional limitations and restrictions that result from an individual's medically determinable impairment or combination of impairments, including the impact of any related symptoms. Age and body habitus are not factors in assessing RFC. It is incorrect to find that an individual has limitations beyond those caused by his or her medically determinable impairment(s) and any related symptoms, due to such factors as age and natural body build, and the activities the individual was accustomed to doing in his or her previous work.
    • When there is no allegation of a physical or mental limitation or restriction of a specific functional capacity, and no information in the case record that there is such a limitation or restriction, the adjudicator must consider the individual to have no limitation or restriction with respect to that functional capacity.
    • The RFC assessment must first identify the individual's functional limitations or restrictions and assess his or her work-related abilities on a function-by-function basis, including the functions in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of 20 CFR 404.1545 and 416.945. Only after that may RFC be expressed in terms of the exertional levels of work, sedentary, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy.
    • RFC is not the least an individual can do despite his or her limitations or restrictions, but the most.
    • Medical impairments and symptoms, including pain, are not intrinsically exertional or nonexertional. It is the functional limitations or restrictions caused by medical impairments and their related symptoms that are categorized as exertional or nonexertional.
  • 20 CFR 404.1502, Definition of treating source.
  • 20 CFR 404.1513, Medical evidence of your impairment.
  • 20 CFR 404.1527, Evaluating medical opinions about your impairment or disability (examining, treating, nature & extent, support, consistency, specialization, issues reserved to the Commissioner and more).
  • 20 CFR 404.1528, Symptoms, signs and laboratory findings.
  • 20 CFR 404.1529, How we evaluate symptoms, including pain (includes the 7 pain factors).
  • 20 CFR 404.1545, Your residual functional capacity.
  • 20 CFR 404.1546, Responsibility for assessing and determining residual functional capacity.

4. Past Relevant Work

  • Social Security Ruling 82-40: THE VOCATIONAL RELEVANCE OF THE PAST WORK PERFORMED IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. The proper test in the fourth step of the sequential evaluation process is whether the individual can do his or her previous work, whether in the U.S. or in a foreign economy.
  • Social Security Ruling 82-61: PAST RELEVANT WORK -- THE PARTICULAR JOB OR THE OCCUPATION AS GENERALLY PERFORMED. Under sections 404.1520(e) and 416.920(e) of the regulations, a claimant will be found to be "not disabled" when it is determined that he or she retains the RFC to perform: 1) The actual functional demands and job duties of a particular past relevant job; or 2) The functional demands and job duties of the occupation as generally required by employers throughout the national economy.
  • Social Security Ruling 82-62: A DISABILITY CLAIMANT'S CAPACITY TO DO PAST RELEVANT WORK, IN GENERAL. Capacity to do past work may be indicative of the capacity to engage in SGA when that work experience constituted SGA and has current relevance considering duration and recency.
  • 20 CFR 404.2(a)(4), Attainment of age.
  • 20 CFR 404.1560, When your vocational background will be considered.
  • 20 CFR 404.1562, If you have done only arduous unskilled physical labor.

5. Other Work

  • The "Grids" -- Appendix 2 to Subpart P of Part 404--Medical-Vocational Guidelines. These rules reflect the analysis of the various vocational factors (i.e., age, education, and work experience) in combination with the individual's residual functional capacity (used to determine his or her maximum sustained work capability for sedentary, light, medium, heavy, or very heavy work) in evaluating the individual's ability to engage in substantial gainful activity in other than his or her vocationally relevant past work. Notes: 1) no need to discuss transferable skills for claimants under age 50; 2) age 50+, RFC of simple, unskilled work = no transferable skills; 3) unskilled work provides no transferable skills (duh?); 4) age 55+, light work w/o transferable skills = disabled; 5) age 50-54, sedentary work w/o transferable skills = disabled.
  • Social Security Ruling 82-63: MEDICAL-VOCATIONAL PROFILES SHOWING AN INABILITY TO MAKE AN ADJUSTMENT TO OTHER WORK. There are two "medical-vocational profiles" which show an inability to make a vocational adjustment to other work (or any work) and which must be considered before a disability decision-maker refers to Appendix 2 of Subpart P of Regulations No. 4 to determine whether a claimant can do work which exists in significant numbers in the national economy, considering the interaction of the claimant's residual functional capacity (RFC), age, education, and work experience. The characteristics of these two profiles are: (1) marginal education and long work experience limited to arduous unskilled physical labor and (2) advanced age, limited education and no work experience.
  • Social Security Ruling 83-10: THE MEDICAL-VOCATIONAL RULES OF APPENDIX 2. Addresses the issue of capability to do other work, and provides definitions of terms and concepts frequently used in evaluating disability under the medical-vocational rules.
  • Social Security Ruling 83-11: CAPABILITY TO DO OTHER WORK -- THE EXERTIONALLY BASED MEDICAL-VOCATIONAL RULES MET
  • Social Security Ruling 83-12: THE MEDICAL-VOCATIONAL RULES AS A FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATING EXERTIONAL LIMITATIONS WITHIN A RANGE OF WORK OR BETWEEN RANGES OF WORK. Includes "significantly eroding the occupational base" explanation, "less than a full range", sit/stand option and more.
  • Social Security Ruling 83-14: THE MEDICAL-VOCATIONAL RULES AS A FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATING A COMBINATION OF EXERTIONAL AND NONEXERTIONAL IMPAIRMENTS. No table rule applies to direct a conclusion of "Disabled" or "Not disabled" where an individual has a nonexertional limitation or restriction imposed by a medically determinable impairment. However, a particular additional exertional or nonexertional limitation may have very little effect on the range of work remaining that an individual can perform. The person, therefore, comes very close to meeting a table rule that directs a conclusion of "Not Disabled."
  • Social Security Ruling 85-15: THE MEDICAL-VOCATIONAL RULES AS A FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATING SOLELY NONEXERTIONAL IMPAIRMENTS. (1) The potential job base for mentally ill claimants without adverse vocational factors is not necessarily large even for individuals who have no other impairments, unless their remaining mental capacities are sufficient to meet the intellectual and emotional demands of at least unskilled, competitive, remunerative work on a sustained basis; and (2) that a finding of disability can be appropriate for an individual who has a severe mental impairment which does not meet or equal the Listing of Impairments, even where he or she does not have adversities in age, education, or work experience. (dust & fumes don't significantly erode the base).
  • Social Security Ruling 96-4p: SYMPTOMS, MEDICALLY DETERMINABLE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL IMPAIRMENTS, AND EXERTIONAL AND NONEXERTIONAL LIMITATIONS.
    • The terms "exertional" and "nonexertional" in the regulations describe types of functional limitations or restrictions resulting from a medically determinable physical or mental impairment; i.e., exertional limitations affect an individual's ability to meet the strength demands of jobs, and nonexertional limitations or restrictions affect an individual's ability to meet the nonstrength demands of jobs. Therefore, a symptom in itself is neither exertional nor nonexertional. Rather, it is the nature of the functional limitations or restrictions caused by an impairment-related symptom that determines whether the impact of the symptom is exertional, nonexertional, or both.
    • The application of the medical-vocational rules in appendix 2 of subpart P of Regulations No. 4 depends on the nature of the limitations and restrictions imposed by an individual's medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s), and any related symptoms.
  • Social Security Ruling 96-9p: IMPLICATIONS OF A RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY FOR LESS THAN A FULL RANGE OF SEDENTARY WORK. Guidelines for evaluating the ability to do less than a full range of sedentary work.
  • 20 CFR 404.1512, Evidence of your impairment (burden of proof shift).
  • 20 CFR 404.1563, Your age as a vocational factor.
  • 20 CFR 404.1564, Your education as a vocational factor.
  • 20 CFR 404.1565, Your work experience as a vocational factor.
  • 20 CFR 404.1566, Work which exists in the national economy.
  • 20 CFR 404.1567, Physical exertion requirements (sedentary, light, medium, etc., defined).
  • 20 CFR 404.1568, Skill requirements.
  • 20 CFR 404.1569, Listing of Medical-Vocational Guidelines in appendix 2.
  • 20 CFR 404.1569a, Exertional and nonexertional limitations (defines both).

Continuing or Stopping Disability or Blindness

  • 20 CFR 404.1579, How we will determine whether your disability continues or ends.
  • 20 CFR 404.1594, How we will determine whether your disability continues or ends.
  • 20 CFR 416.994, How we will determine whether your disability continues or ends.
  • 20 CFR 404.1571, How we will determine whether your disability continues or ends.
  • 20 CFR 404.1572, How we will determine whether your disability continues or ends.
  • 20 CFR 404.1573, How we will determine whether your disability continues or ends.
  • 20 CFR 404.1574, How we will determine whether your disability continues or ends.
  • 20 CFR 404.1575, How we will determine whether your disability continues or ends.

 

  • 20 CFR 416.988 Your responsibility to tell us of events that may change your disability or blindness status.
  • 20 CFR 416.989 We may conduct a review to find out whether you continue to be disabled.
  • 20 CFR 416.989a We may conduct a review to find out whether you continue to be blind.
  • 20 CFR 416.990 When and how often we will conduct a continuing disability review.
  • 20 CFR 416.991 If your medical recovery was expected and you returned to work.
  • 20 CFR 416.992 The trial work period.
  • 20 CFR 416.992a The reentitlement period.
  • 20 CFR 416.993 Medical evidence in continuing disability review cases.
  • 20 CFR 416.994 How we will determine whether your disability continues or ends.
  • 20 CFR 416.994a How we will determine whether your disability continues or ends, and whether you are and have been receiving treatment that is medically necessary and available, disabled children.
  • 20 CFR 416.995 If we make a determination that your physical or mental impairment(s) has ceased, did not exist or is no longer disabling (Medical Cessation Determination).

 

Medicare Part A - Disability Beneficiaries

  • 20 CFR 406.12 Individual under age 65 who is entitled to social security or railroad retirement disability benefits (25-month requirement; deemed retroactive entitlement; duration; SGA).

SSR TABLE RELATED TO PARTICULAR LIMITATIONS

Activity

RFC

SSR

 

Amputation

Medium

83-12

Cannot be performed with an above-elbow amputation

Amputation

Heavy

83-12

Cannot be performed with an above-elbow amputation

Arm

Medium

83-12

Cannot be performed with an above-elbow amputation

Arm

Heavy

83-12

Cannot be performed with an above-elbow amputation

Arms

Sedentary

83-12

Sedentary work cannot be performed by one who has lost use of an upper extremity since most unskilled, sedentary jobs require good use of hands and fingers

Arms

Sedentary

83-10

Most unskilled, sedentary jobs require good use of hands and fingers for repetitive hand-finger actions

Arms

Light

83-10

Requires use of arms and hands to grasp, hold and turn objects and generally does not require use of the fingers for fine activities to the extent required in sedentary work

Arms

Medium

83-10

Use of the arms and hands is necessary to grasp, hold and turn objects as opposed to finer activities in much sedentary work

Arms

All

83-14

The claimant must have certain use of the arms and head to grasp, hold, turn, raise and lower objects

Assistive Devices

Sedentary

96-9p

If a medically required hand-held assistive device is needed only for prolonged ambulation, walking on uneven terrain, or ascending or descending slopes, the unskilled sedentary occupational base will not be ordinarily significantly eroded

Balancing

Sedentary

96-9p

Postural limitations or restrictions related to climbing ladders, ropes or scaffolds, balancing, kneeling, crouching or crawling would not usually erode the occupational base for a full range of sedentary unskilled work significantly because those activities are not usually required in sedentary work

Balancing

All

85-15

"Some" limitations in climbing and balancing are not significant

Bending

Sedentary

83-14,

85-15

Stooping, crouching and bending required occasionally at most

Bending

Light

83-14,

85-15

Stooping and bending are required occasionally

Bending

Medium

85-15

Stooping, crouching and bending are required frequently

Bending

Heavy

85-15

Stooping, crouching and bending are required frequently

Cane

Sedentary

96-9p

If a medically required hand-held assistive device is needed only for prolonged ambulation, walking on uneven terrain, or ascending or descending slopes, the unskilled sedentary occupational base will not be ordinarily significantly eroded

 

Climbing

Sedentary

96-9p

Postural limitations or restrictions related to climbing ladders, ropes or scaffolds, balancing, kneeling, crouching or crawling would not usually erode the occupational base for a full range of sedentary unskilled work significantly because those activities are not usually required in sedentary work

Climbing

All

85-15

"Some" limitations in climbing and balancing are not significant

Climbing

All

83-14

The inability to ascend or descend ladders or scaffolding is not significant

Communication

Sedentary

96-9p

If a claimant retains the abilities to hear and understand simple, oral instructions or to communicate simple information, the sedentary occupational base is not significantly eroded

Crawling

Sedentary

96-9p

Postural limitations or restrictions related to climbing ladders, ropes or scaffolds, balancing, kneeling, crouching or crawling would not usually erode the occupational base for a full range of sedentary unskilled work significantly because those activities are not usually required in sedentary work

Crawling

Sedentary

85-15

Inability to crawl does not significantly affect range of sedentary work

Crawling

All

85-15

Kneeling and crawling limitations do not have a significant impact on the broad world of work

Crouching

Sedentary

96-9p

Postural limitations or restrictions related to climbing ladders, ropes or scaffolds, balancing, kneeling, crouching or crawling would not usually erode the occupational base for a full range of sedentary unskilled work significantly because those activities are not usually required in sedentary work

Crouching

Sedentary

83-14,

85-15

Stooping, crouching and bending required occasionally at most

Crouching

Sedentary

83-14

Crouching is not required

Crouching

Light

83-14

Crouching in not required

Crouching

Medium

85-15

Stooping, crouching and bending are required frequently

Crouching

Heavy

85-15

Stooping, crouching and bending are required frequently

Crutches

Sedentary

96-9p

If a medically required hand-held assistive device is needed only for prolonged ambulation, walking on uneven terrain, or ascending or descending slopes, the unskilled sedentary occupational base will not be ordinarily significantly eroded

Dexterity

Sedentary

96-9p

Significant manipulative limitation of one’s ability to handle and work with small objects justifies a finding of disabled

Dexterity

Sedentary

83-10

Most unskilled, sedentary jobs require good use of hands and fingers for repetitive hand-finger actions

 

Dexterity

Sedentary

83-12

Sedentary work cannot be performed by one who has lost use of an upper extremity since most unskilled, sedentary jobs require good use of hands and fingers

Dexterity

Sedentary

85-15

Fine manual dexterity is required

Dexterity

Sedentary

85-15

Bilateral manual dexterity is required

Dexterity

Light

83-10

Requires use of arms and hands to grasp, hold and turn objects and generally does not require use of the fingers for fine activities to the extent required in sedentary work

Dexterity

Medium

83-10

Use of the arms and hands is necessary to grasp, hold and turn objects as opposed to finer activities in much sedentary work

Dexterity

All

83-14

The claimant must have certain use of the arms and head to grasp, hold, turn, raise and lower objects

Environmental

Sedentary

96-9p

The need to avoid all exposure to extreme cold, extreme heat, wetness, humidity, vibration, or unusual hazards such as moving mechanical parts of equipment, tools or machinery; electrical shock; working in high, exposed places; exposure to radiation; working with explosives; and exposure to toxic, caustic chemicals would not result in significant erosion of the sedentary occupational base.

Environmental

Sedentary

83-12

The need to avoid frequent contact with petroleum-based solvents does not significantly compromise the full range of sedentary work.

Environmental

Sedentary

83-14

The vast majority of sedentary occupations are performed indoors, so outside environmental limitations (like ragweed pollen) are not significant

Feeling

Sedentary

96-9p

Ability to feel the size, shape, temperature or texture of an object by the fingertips is required in very few jobs and impairment of this ability, by itself would not significantly erode the unskilled, sedentary job base

Feeling

All

85-15

The ability to feel the size, shape, temperature or texture by fingertips is not significant

Fingers

Sedentary

83-10

Most unskilled, sedentary jobs require good use of hands and fingers for repetitive hand-finger actions

Fingertips

All

85-15

The ability to feel the size, shape, temperature or texture by fingertips is not significant

Grasping

All

83-14

The claimant must have certain use of the arms and head to grasp, hold, turn, raise and lower objects

Handling

All

85-15

Significant limitations in reaching and handling significantly limit jobs

Hands

Sedentary

83-10

Most unskilled, sedentary jobs require good use of hands and fingers for repetitive hand-finger actions

 

Hands

Sedentary

83-12

Sedentary work cannot be performed by one who has lost use of an upper extremity since most unskilled, sedentary jobs require good use of hands and fingers

Hands

Light

83-10

Requires use of arms and hands to grasp, hold and turn objects and generally does not require use of the fingers for fine activities to the extent required in sedentary work

Hands

Medium

83-10

Use of the arms and hands is necessary to grasp, hold and turn objects as opposed to finer activities in much sedentary work

Hearing

Sedentary

96-9p

If a claimant retains the abilities to hear and understand simple, oral instructions or to communicate simple information, the sedentary occupational base is not significantly eroded

Heights

All

85-15

Restrictions against unprotected elevations and proximity to dangerous, moving machinery are not significant at all exertional levels

Holding

All

83-14

The claimant must have certain use of the arms and head to grasp, hold, turn, raise and lower objects

Indoors

Sedentary

83-14

The vast majority of sedentary occupations are performed indoors, so outside environmental limitations (like ragweed pollen) are not significant

Kneeling

Sedentary

96-9p

Postural limitations or restrictions related to climbing ladders, ropes or scaffolds, balancing, kneeling, crouching or crawling would not usually erode the occupational base for a full range of sedentary unskilled work significantly because those activities are not usually required in sedentary work

Kneeling

All

85-15

Kneeling and crawling limitations do not have a significant impact on the broad world of work

Lifting

Sedentary

96-9p

Inability to lift or carry more than one or two pounds justifies finding of disabled

Lifting

Sedentary

96-9p

If a claimant has the ability to lift/carry slightly less than 10 pounds, with no other limitations or restrictions in the ability to perform the requirements of sedentary work, the unskilled sedentary occupational base would not be significantly

Machinery

All

85-15

Restrictions against unprotected elevations and proximity to dangerous, moving machinery are not significant at all exertional levels

Manipulation

Sedentary

96-9p

Significant manipulative limitation of one’s ability to handle and work with small objects justifies a finding of disabled

Manipulation

Light

83-10

Requires use of arms and hands to grasp, hold and turn objects and generally does not require use of the fingers for fine activities to the extent required in sedentary work

 

Manipulation

All

83-14

The claimant must have certain use of the arms and head to grasp, hold, turn, raise and lower objects

Mental

Sedentary

96-9p

Substantial loss of ability to meet any one of the mental activities generally required by competitive, remunerative, unskilled work justifies a finding of disabled

Outdoors

Sedentary

83-14

The vast majority of sedentary occupations are performed indoors, so outside environmental limitations (like ragweed pollen) are not significant

Petroleum

Sedentary

83-12

The need to avoid frequent contact with petroleum-based solvents does not significantly compromise the full range of sedentary work.

Postural Limitations

Sedentary

96-9p

Postural limitations or restrictions related to climbing ladders, ropes or scaffolds, balancing, kneeling, crouching or crawling would not usually erode the occupational base for a full range of sedentary unskilled work significantly because those activities are not usually required in sedentary work

Pushing/pulling

Sedentary

96-9p

Limitations or restrictions on the ability to push or pull will generally have little effect on the unskilled sedentary occupational base

Raising

All

83-14

The claimant must have certain use of the arms and head to grasp, hold, turn, raise and lower objects

Reaching

All

85-15

Significant limitations in reaching and handling significantly limit jobs

Sight

Light

85-15,

96-9p

As long as sufficient visual acuity to be able to handle and work with rather large objects and avoid workplace hazards exists, substantial numbers of jobs remain at the light exertional level and greater.

Sight

Medium

85-15,

96-9p

As long as sufficient visual acuity to be able to handle and work with rather large objects and avoid workplace hazards exists, substantial numbers of jobs remain at the light exertional level and greater.

Sight

Heavy

85-15,

96-9p

As long as sufficient visual acuity to be able to handle and work with rather large objects and avoid workplace hazards exists, substantial numbers of jobs remain at the light exertional level and greater.

Sit/Stand

Sedentary

83-12

Sedentary work does not contain sit/stand jobs

Sit/stand

Light

83-12

Does not include sit/stand jobs

Solvents

Sedentary

83-12

The need to avoid frequent contact with petroleum-based solvents does not significantly compromise the full range of sedentary work.

Speaking

Sedentary

96-9p

If a claimant retains the abilities to hear and understand simple, oral instructions or to communicate simple information, the sedentary occupational base is not significantly eroded

 

Standing

Sedentary

96-9p

If an individual can stand and walk slightly less than two hours per eight hour day, this, by itself, would not cause the sedentary occupational base to be significantly eroded

Standing

Sedentary

96-9p

A limitation to standing and walking for a total of only a few minutes during the workday justifies finding of disabled

Stooping

Sedentary

96-9p

A restriction to occasional stooping would, by itself, only minimally erode the unskilled occupational base of sedentary work

Stooping

Sedentary

96-9p

Complete inability to stoop justifies finding of disabled

Stooping

Sedentary

83-14,

85-15

Stooping, crouching and bending required occasionally at most

Stooping

Light

83-14,

85-15

Stooping and bending are required occasionally

Stooping

Medium

85-15

Stooping, crouching and bending are required frequently

Stooping

Heavy

85-15

Stooping, crouching and bending are required frequently

Turning

All

83-14

The claimant must have certain use of the arms and head to grasp, hold, turn, raise and lower objects

Understanding

Sedentary

96-9p

If a claimant retains the abilities to hear and understand simple, oral instructions or to communicate simple information, the sedentary occupational base is not significantly eroded

Upper extremities

Medium

83-10

Use of the arms and hands is necessary to grasp, hold and turn objects as opposed to finer activities in much sedentary work

Upper Extremities

All

83-14

The claimant must have certain use of the arms and head to grasp, hold, turn, raise and lower objects

Upper Extremity

Sedentary

83-12

Sedentary work cannot be performed by one who has lost use of an upper extremity since most unskilled, sedentary jobs require good use of hands and fingers

Vision

Light

85-15,

96-9p

As long as sufficient visual acuity to be able to handle and work with rather large objects and avoid workplace hazards exists, substantial numbers of jobs remain at the light exertional level and greater.

Vision

Medium

85-15,

96-9p

As long as sufficient visual acuity to be able to handle and work with rather large objects and avoid workplace hazards exists, substantial numbers of jobs remain at the light exertional level and greater.

Vision

Heavy

85-15,

96-9p

As long as sufficient visual acuity to be able to handle and work with rather large objects and avoid workplace hazards exists, substantial numbers of jobs remain at the light exertional level and greater.

 

Walking

Sedentary

96-9p

If an individual can stand and walk slightly less than two hours per eight hour day, this, by itself, would not cause the sedentary occupational base to be significantly eroded

Walking

Sedentary

96-9p

If a medically required hand-held assistive device is needed only for prolonged ambulation, walking on uneven terrain, or ascending or descending slopes, the unskilled sedentary occupational base will not be ordinarily significantly eroded

Walking

Sedentary

96-9p

A limitation to standing and walking for a total of only a few minutes during the work day justifies a finding of disabled

 

Appendix 1 to Subpart P of Part 404--Listing of Impairments

Part A

Criteria applicable to individuals age 18 and over and to children under age 18 where criteria are appropriate.

  • 1.00 Musculoskeletal System.
    • 1.02 Active rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthritis.
    • 1.03 Arthritis of a major weight-bearing joint (due to any cause)
    • 1.04 Arthritis of one major joint in each of the upper extremities (due to any cause)
    • 1.05 Disorders of the spine
    • 1.08 Osteomyelitis or septic arthritis (established by X-ray)
    • 1.09 Amputation or anatomical deformity
    • 1.10 Amputation of one lower extremity
    • 1.11 Fracture of the femur, tibia, tarsal bone or pelvis
    • 1.12 Fractures of an upper extremity
    • 1.13 Soft tissue injuries of an upper or lower extremity
  • 2.00 Special Senses and Speech.
    • 2.02 Impairment of central visual acuity.
    • 2.03 Contraction of peripheral visual fields in the better eye.
    • 2.04 Loss of visual efficiency.
    • 2.05 Complete homonymous hemianopsia
    • 2.06 Total bilateral ophthalmoplegia.
    • 2.07 Disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function (including Meniere's disease)
    • 2.08 Hearing impairments
    • 2.09 Organic loss of speech
  • 3.00 Respiratory System.
    • 3.02 Chronic pulmonary insufficiency
    • 3.03 Asthma
    • 3.04 Cystic fibrosis
    • 3.06 Pneumoconiosis
    • 3.07 Bronchiectasis
    • 3.08 Mycobacterial, mycotic, and other chronic persistent infections of the lung
    • 3.09 Cor pulmonale secondary to chronic pulmonary vascular hypertension
    • 3.10 Sleep-related breathing disorders
  • 4.00 Cardiovascular System.
    • 4.02 Chronic heart failure
    • 4.03 Hypertensive cardiovascular disease
    • 4.04 Ischemic heart disease
    • 4.05 Recurrent arrhythmias
    • 4.06 Symptomatic congenital heart disease
    • 4.07 Valvular heart disease or other stenotic defects, or valvular regurgitation
    • 4.08 Cardiomyopathies
    • 4.09 Cardiac transplantation
    • 4.10 Aneurysm of aorta or major branches
    • 4.11 Chronic venous insufficiency
    • 4.12 Peripheral arterial disease
  • 5.00 Digestive System.
    • 5.02 Recurrent upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage from undetermined cause
    • 5.03 Stricture, stenosis, or obstruction of the esophagus
    • 5.04 Peptic ulcer disease
    • 5.05 Chronic liver disease
    • 5.06 Chronic ulcerative or granulomatous colitis
    • 5.07 Regional enteritis
    • 5.08 Weight loss due to any persisting gastrointestinal disorder
  • 6.00 Genito-Urinary System.
    • 6.02 Impairment of renal function, due to any chronic renal disease expected to last 12 months
    • 6.06 Nephrotic syndrome, with significant anasarca, persistent for at least 3 months despite prescribed therapy
  • 7.00 Hemic and Lymphatic System.
    • 7.02 Chronic anemia
    • 7.05 Sickle cell disease, or one of its variants
    • 7.06 Chronic thrombocytopenia
    • 7.07 Hereditary telangiectasia
    • 7.08 Coagulation defects (hemophilia or a similar disorder)
    • 7.09 Polycythemia vera (with erythrocytosis, splenomegaly, and leukocytosis or thrombocytosis).
    • 7.10 Myelofibrosis (myeloproliferative syndrome).
    • 7.11 Acute leukemia
    • 7.12 Chronic leukemia
    • 7.13 Lymphomas
    • 7.14 Macroglobulinemia or heavy chain disease
    • 7.15 Chronic granulocytopenia (due to any cause).
    • 7.16 Myeloma (confirmed by appropriate serum or urine protein electrophoresis and bone marrow findings).
    • 7.17 Aplastic anemias or hematologic malignancies
  • 8.00 Skin.
    • 8.02 Exfoliative dermatitis, ichthyosis, ichthyosiform erythroderma.
    • 8.03 Pemphigus, erythema multiforme bullosum, bullous pemphigoid, dermatitis herpetiformis
    • 8.04 Deep mycotic infections
    • 8.05 Psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, dyshidrosis
    • 8.06 Hydradenitis suppurative, acne conglobata
  • 9.00 Endocrine System and Obesity.
  • 10.00 [Reserved]
  • 11.00 Neurological.
    • 11.02 Epilepsy--Major motor seizures, (grand mal or psychomotor)
    • 11.03 Epilepsy--Minor motor seizures (petit mal, psychomotor, or focal)
    • 11.04 Central nervous system vascular accident
    • 11.05 Brain tumors
    • 11.06 Parkinsonian syndrome
    • 11.07 Cerebral palsy
    • 11.08 Spinal cord or nerve root lesions
    • 11.09 Multiple sclerosis
    • 11.10 Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
    • 11.11 Anterior poliomyelitis
    • 11.12 Myasthenia gravis
    • 11.13 Muscular dystrophy
    • 11.14 Peripheral neuropathies
    • 11.15 Tabes dorsalis
    • 11.16 Subacute combined cord degeneration (pernicious anemia)
    • 11.17 Degenerative disease not elsewhere such as Huntington's chorea, Friedreich's ataxia, and spino-cerebellar degeneration
    • 11.18 Cerebral trauma
    • 11.19 Syringomyelia
  • 12.00 Mental Disorders.
    • 12.02 Organic Mental Disorders
    • 12.03 Schizophrenic, Paranoid and Other Psychotic Disorders
    • 12.04 Affective Disorders
    • 12.05 Mental Retardation and Autism
    • 12.06 Anxiety Related Disorders
    • 12.07 Somatoform Disorders
    • 12.08 Personality Disorders
    • 12.09 Substance Addiction Disorders
  • 13.00 Neoplastic Diseases, Malignant.
  • 14.00 Immune System.
    • 14.02 Systemic lupus erythematosus
    • 14.03 Systemic vasculitis
    • 14.04 Systemic sclerosis and scleroderma
    • 14.05 Polymyositis or dermatomyositis
    • 14.06 Undifferentiated connective tissue disorder
    • 14.07 Immunoglobulin deficiency syndromes or deficiencies of cell-mediated immunity
    • 14.08 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection

1.00 Musculoskeletal System

A. Loss of function may be due to amputation or deformity. Pain may be an important factor in causing functional loss, but it must be associated with relevant abnormal signs or laboratory findings. Evaluations of musculoskeletal impairments should be supported where applicable by detailed descriptions of the joints, including ranges of motion, condition of the musculature, sensory or reflex changes, circulatory deficits, and X-ray abnormalities.

B. Disorders of the spine, associated with vertebrogenic disorders as in 1.05C, result in impairment because of distortion of the bony and ligamentous architecture of the spine or impingement of a herniated nucleus pulposus or bulging annulus on a nerve root. Impairment caused by such abnormalities usually improves with time or responds to treatment. Appropriate abnormal physical findings must be shown to persist on repeated examinations despite therapy for a reasonable presumption to be made that severe impairment will last for a continuous period of 12 months. This may occur in cases with unsuccessful prior surgical treatment.

Evaluation of the impairment caused by disorders of the spine requires that a clinical diagnosis of the entity to be evaluated first must be established on the basis of adequate history, physical examination, and roentgenograms. The specific findings stated in 1.05C represent the level required for that impairment; these findings, by themselves, are not intended to represent the basis for establishing the clinical diagnosis. Furthermore, while neurological examination findings are required, they are not to be interpreted as a basis for evaluating the magnitude of any neurological impairment. Neurological impairments are to be evaluated under 11.00-11.19.

The history must include a detailed description of the character, location, and radiation of pain; mechanical factors which incite and relieve pain; prescribed treatment, including type, dose, and frequency of analgesic; and typical daily activities. Care must be taken to ascertain that the reported examination findings are consistent with the individual's daily activities.

There must be a detailed description of the orthopedic and neurologic examination findings. The findings should include a description of gait, limitation of movement of the spine given quantitatively in degrees from the vertical position, motor and sensory abnormalities, muscle spasm, and deep tendon reflexes. Observations of the individual during the examination should be reported; e.g., how he or she gets on and off the examining table. Inability to walk on heels or toes, to squat, or to arise from a squatting position, where appropriate, may be considered evidence of significant motor loss. However, a report of atrophy is not acceptable as evidence of significant motor loss without circumferential measurements of both thighs and lower legs (or upper or lower arms) at a stated point above and below the knee or elbow given in inches or centimeters. A specific description of atrophy of hand muscles is acceptable without measurements of atrophy but should include measurements of grip strength.

These physical examination findings must be determined on the basis of objective observations during the examination and not simply a report of the individual's allegation, e.g., he says his leg is weak, numb, etc. Alternative testing methods should be used to verify the objectivity of the abnormal findings, e.g., a seated straight-leg raising test in addition to a supine straight-leg raising test. Since abnormal findings may be intermittent, their continuous presence over a period of time must be established by a record of ongoing treatment. Neurological abnormalities may not completely subside after surgical or nonsurgical treatment, or with the passage of time. Residual neurological abnormalities, which persist after it has been determined clinically or by direct surgical or other observation that the ongoing or progressive condition is no longer present, cannot be considered to satisfy the required findings in 1.05C.

Where surgical procedures have been performed, documentation should include a copy of the operative note and available pathology reports.

Electrodiagnostic procedures and myelography may be useful in establishing the clinical diagnosis, but do not constitute alternative criteria to the requirements in 1.05C.

C. After maximum benefit from surgical therapy has been achieved in situations involving fractures of an upper extremity (see 1.12) or soft tissue injuries of a lower or upper extremity (see 1.13), i.e., there have been no significant changes in physical findings or X-ray findings for any 6-month period after the last definitive surgical procedure, evaluation should be made on the basis of demonstrable residuals.

D. Major joints as used herein refer to hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, or wrist and hand. (Wrist and hand are considered together as one major joint.)

E. The measurements of joint motion are based on the techniques described in the "Joint Motion Method of Measuring and Recording," published by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in 1965, or the "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment--The Extremities and Back" (Chapter I); American Medical Association, 1971.

1.01 Category of Impairments, Musculoskeletal

1.02 Active rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthritis.

With both A and B.

A. History of persistent joint pain, swelling, and tenderness involving multiple major joints (see 1.00D) and with signs of joint inflammation (swelling and tenderness) on current physical examination despite prescribed therapy for at least 3 months, resulting in significant restriction of function of the affected joints, and clinical activity expected to last at least 12 months; and

B. Corroboration of diagnosis at some point in time by either.

1. Positive serologic test for rheumatoid factor; or

2. Antinuclear antibodies; or

3. Elevated sedimentation rate; or

4. Characteristic histologic changes in biopsy of synovial membrane or subcutaneous nodule (obtained independent of Social Security disability evaluation).

1.03 Arthritis of a major weight-bearing joint (due to any cause):

With history of persistent joint pain and stiffness with signs of marked limitation of motion or abnormal motion of the affected joint on current physical examination. With:

A. Gross anatomical deformity of hip or knee (e.g, subluxation, contracture, bony or fibrous ankylosis, instability) supported by X-ray evidence of either significant joint space narrowing or significant bony destruction and markedly limiting ability to walk and stand; or

B. Reconstructive surgery or surgical arthrodesis of a major weight-bearing joint and return to full weight-bearing status did not occur, or is not expected to occur, within 12 months of onset.

1.04 Arthritis of one major joint in each of the upper extremities (due to any cause):

With history of persistent joint pain and stiffness, signs of marked limitation of motion of the affected joints on current physical examination, and X-ray evidence of either significant joint space narrowing or significant bony destruction. With:

A. Abduction and forward flexion (elevation) of both arms at the shoulders, including scapular motion, restricted to less than 90 degrees; or

B. Gross anatomical deformity (e.g., subluxation, contracture, bony or fibrous ankylosis, instability, ulnar deviation) and enlargement or effusion of the affected joints.

1.05 Disorders of the spine:

A. Arthritis manifested by ankylosis or fixation of the cervical or dorsolumbar spine at 30° or more of flexion measured from the neutral postion, with X-ray evidence of:

1. Calcification of the anterior and lateral ligaments; or

2. Bilateral ankylosis of the sacroiliac joints with abnormal apophyseal articulations; or

B. Osteoporosis, generalized (established by X-ray) manifested by pain and limitation of back motion and paravertebral muscle spasm with X-ray evidence of either:

1. Compression fracture of a vertebral body with loss of at least 50 percent of the estimated height of the vertebral body prior to the compression fracture, with no intervening direct traumatic episode; or

2. Multiple fractures of vertebrae with no intervening direct traumatic episode; or

C. Other vertebrogenic disorders (e.g., herniated nucleus puplosus, spinal stenosis) with the following persisting for at least 3 months despite prescribed therapy and expected to last 12 months. With both 1 and 2:

1. Pain, muscle spasm, and significant limitation of motion in the spine; and

2. Appropriate radicular distribution of significant motor loss with muscle weakness and sensory and reflex loss.

1.08 Osteomyelitis or septic arthritis (established by X-ray):

A. Located in the pelvis, vertebra, femur, tibia, or a major joint of an upper or lower extremity, with persistent activity or occurrence of at least two episodes of acute activity within a 5-month period prior to adjudication, manifested by local inflammatory, and systemic signs and laboratory findings (e.g., heat, redness, swelling, leucocytosis, or increased sedimentation rate) and expected to last at least 12 months despite prescribed therapy; or

B. Multiple localizations and systemic manifestations as in A above.

1.09 Amputation or anatomical deformity of (i.e., loss of major function due to degenerative changes associated with vascular or neurological deficits, traumatic loss of muscle mass or tendons and X-ray evidence of bony ankylosis at an unfavorable angle, joint subluxation or instability):

A. Both hands; or

B. Both feet; or

C. One hand and one foot.

1.10 Amputation of one lower extremity (at or above the tarsal region):

A. Hemipelvectomy or hip disarticulation; or

B. Amputation at or above the tarsal region due to peripheral vascular disease or diabetes mellitus; or

C. Inability to use a prosthesis effectively, without obligatory assistive devices, due to one of the following:

1. Vascular disease; or

2. Neurological complications (e.g., loss of position sense); or

3. Stump too short or stump complications persistent, or are expected to persist, for at least 12 months from onset; or

4. Disorder of contralateral lower extremity which markedly limits ability to walk and stand.

1.11 Fracture of the femur, tibia, tarsal bone or pelvis with solid union not evident on X-ray and not clinically solid, when such determination is feasible, and return to full weight-bearing status did not occur or is not expected to occur within 12 months of onset.

1.12 Fractures of an upper extremity with non-union of a fracture of the shaft of the humerus, radius, or ulna under continuing surgical management directed toward restoration of functional use of the extremity and such function was not restored or expected to be restored within 12 months after onset.

1.13 Soft tissue injuries of an upper or lower extremity requiring a series of staged surgical procedures within 12 months after onset for salvage and/or restoration of major function of the extremity, and such major function was not restored or expected to be restored within 12 months after onset.

2.00 Special Senses and Speech

A. Ophthalmology

1. Causes of impairment. Diseases or injury of the eyes may produce loss of central or peripheral vision. Loss of central vision results in inability to distinguish detail and prevents reading and fine work. Loss of peripheral vision restricts the ability of an individual to move about freely. The extent of impairment of sight should be determined by visual testing.

2. Central visual acuity. A loss of central visual acuity may be caused by impaired distant and/or near vision. However, for an individual to meet the level of severity described in 2.02 and 2.04, only the remaining central visual acuity for distance of the better eye with best correction based on the Snellen test chart measurement may be used. Correction obtained by special visual aids (e.g., contact lenses) will be considered if the individual has the ability to wear such aids.

3. Field of vision. Impairment of peripheral vision may result if there is contraction of the visual fields. The contraction may be either symmetrical or irregular. The extent of the remaining peripheral visual field will be determined by usual perimetric methods at a distance of 330 mm. under illumination of not less than 7-foot candles. For the phakic eye (the eye with a lens), a 3 mm. white disc target will be used, and for the aphakic eye (the eye without the lens), a 6 mm. white disc target will be used. In neither instance should corrective spectacle lenses be worn during the examination but if they have been used, this fact must be stated.

Measurements obtained on comparable perimetric devices may be used; this does not include the use of tangent screen measurements. For measurements obtained using the Goldmann perimeter, the object size designation III and the illumination designation 4 should be used for the phakic eye, and the object size designation IV and illumination designation 4 for the aphakic eye.

Field measurements must be accompanied by notated field charts, a description of the type and size of the target and the test distance. Tangent screen visual fields are not acceptable as a measurement of peripheral field loss.

Where the loss is predominantly in the lower visual fields, a system such as the weighted grid scale for perimetric fields described by B. Esterman (see Grid for Scoring Visual Fields, II. Perimeter, Archives of Ophthalmology, 79:400, 1968) may be used for determining whether the visual field loss is comparable to that described in table 2.

4. Muscle function. Paralysis of the third cranial nerve producing ptosis, paralysis of accommodation, and dilation and immobility of the pupil may cause significant visual impairment. When all the muscle of the eye are paralyzed including the iris and ciliary body (total ophthalmoplegia), the condition is considered a severe impairment provided it is bilateral. A finding of severe impairment based primarily on impaired muscle function must be supported by a report of an actual measurement of ocular motility.

5. Visual efficiency. Loss of visual efficiency may be caused by disease or injury resulting in a reduction of central visual acuity or visual field. The visual efficiency of one eye is the product of the percentage of central visual efficiency and the percentage of visual field efficiency. (See tables no. 1 and 2, following 2.09.)

6. Special situations. Aphakia represents a visual handicap in addition to the loss of central visual acuity. The term monocular aphakia would apply to an individual who has had the lens removed from one eye, and who still retains the lens in his other eye, or to an individual who has only one eye which is aphakic. The term binocular aphakia would apply to an individual who has had both lenses removed. In cases of binocular aphakia, the central efficiency of the better eye will be accepted as 75 percent of its value. In cases of monocular aphakia, where the better eye is aphakic, the central visual efficiency will be accepted as 50 percent of the value. (If an individual has binocular aphakia, and the central visual acuity in the poorer eye can be corrected only to 20/200, or less, the central visual efficiency of the better eye will be accepted as 50 percent of its value.)

Ocular symptoms of systemic disease may or may not produce a disabling visual impairement. These manifestations should be evaluated as part of the underlying disease entity by reference to the particular body system involved.

7. Statutory blindness. The term "statutory blindness" refers to the degree of visual impairment which defines the term "blindness" in the Social Security Act. Both 2.02 and 2.03 A and B denote statutory blindness.

B. Otolaryngology

1. Hearing impairment. Hearing ability should be evaluated in terms of the person's ability to hear and distinguish speech.

Loss of hearing can be quantitatively determined by an audiometer which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for air and bone conducted stimuli (i.e., ANSI S 3.6-1969 and ANSI S 3.13-1972, or subsequent comparable revisions) and performing all hearing measurements in an environment which meets the ANSI standard for maximal permissible background sound (ANSI S 3.1-1977).

Speech discrimination should be determined using a standardized measure of speech discrimination ability in quiet at a test presentation level sufficient to ascertain maximum discrimination ability. The speech discrimination measure (test) used, and the level at which testing was done, must be reported.

Hearing tests should be preceded by an otolaryngologic examination and should be performed by or under the supervision of an otolaryngologist or audiologist qualified to perform such tests.

In order to establish an independent medical judgment as to the level of impairment in a claimant alleging deafness, the following examinations should be reported: Otolaryngologic examination, pure tone air and bone audiometry, speech reception threshold (SRT), and speech discrimination testing. A copy of reports of medical examination and audiologic evaluations must be submitted.

Cases of alleged "deaf mutism" should be documented by a hearing evaluation. Records obtained from a speech and hearing rehabilitation center or a special school for the deaf may be acceptable, but if these reports are not available, or are found to be inadequate, a current hearing evaluation should be submitted as outlined in the preceding paragraph.

2. Vertigo associated with disturbances of labyrinthine-vestibular function, including Meniere's disease. These disturbances of balance are characterized by an hallucination of motion or loss of position sense and a sensation of dizziness which may be constant or may occur in paroxysmal attacks. Nausea, vomiting, ataxia, and incapacitation are frequently observed, particularly during the acute attack. It is important to differentiate the report of rotary vertigo from that of "dizziness" which is described as lightheadedness, unsteadiness, confusion, or syncope.

Meniere's disease is characterized by paroxysmal attacks of vertigo, tinnitus, and fluctuating hearing loss. Remissions are unpredictable and irregular, but may be longlasting; hence, the severity of impairment is best determined after prolonged observation and serial reexaminations.

The diagnosis of a vestibular disorder requires a comprehensive neuro-otolaryngologic examination with a detailed description of the vertiginous episodes, including notation of frequency, severity, and duration of the attacks. Pure tone and speech audiometry with the appropriate special examinations, such as Bekesy audiometry, are necessary. Vestibular functions is assessed by positional and caloric testing, preferably by electronystagmography. When polytograms, contrast radiography, or other special tests have been performed, copies of the reports of these tests should be obtained in addition to reports of skull and temporal bone X-rays.

3. Organic loss of speech. Glossectomy or laryngectomy or cicatricial laryngeal stenosis due to injury or infection results in loss of voice production by normal means. In evaluating organic loss of speech (see 2.09), ability to produce speech by any means includes the use of mechanical or electronic devices. Impairment of speech due to neurologic disorders should be evaluated under 11.00-11.19.

2.01 Category of Impairments, Special Senses and Speech

2.02 Impairment of central visual acuity. Remaining vision in the better eye after best correction is 20/200 or less.

2.03 Contraction of peripheral visual fields in the better eye.

A. To 10° or less from the point of fixation; or

B. So the widest diameter subtends an angle no greater than 20°; or

C. To 20 percent or less visual field efficiency.

2.04 Loss of visual efficiency. Visual efficiency of better eye after best correction 20 percent or less. (The percent of remaining visual efficiency=the product of the percent of remaining central visual efficiency and the percent of remaining visual field efficiency.)

2.05 Complete homonymous hemianopsia (with or without macular sparing). Evaluate under 2.04.

2.06 Total bilateral ophthalmoplegia.

2.07 Disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function (including Meniere's disease), characterized by a history of frequent attacks of balance disturbance, tinnitus, and progressive loss of hearing. With both A and B:

A. Disturbed function of vestibular labyrinth demonstrated by caloric or other vestibular tests; and

B. Hearing loss established by audiometry.

2.08 Hearing impairments (hearing not restorable by a hearing aid) manifested by:

A. Average hearing threshold sensitivity for air conduction of 90 decibels or greater and for bone conduction to corresponding maximal levels, in the better ear, determined by the simple average of hearing threshold levels at 500, 1000 and 2000 hz. (see 2.00B1); or

B. Speech discrimination scores of 40 percent or less in the better ear;

2.09 Organic loss of speech due to any cause with inability to produce by any means speech which can be heard, understood, and sustained.

Table No. 1--Percentage of Central Visual Efficiency Corresponding to Central Visual Acuity Notations for Distance in the Phakic and Aphakic Eye (Better Eye)

Snellen

Percent central visual efficiency

English

Metric

Phakic[1]

Aphakic monocular[2]

Aphakic binocular[3]

20/16

6/5

100

50

75

20/20

6/6

100

50

75

20/25

6/7.5

95

47

71

20/32

6/10

90

45

67

20/40

6/12

85

42

64

20/50

6/15

75

37

56

20/64

6/20

65

32

49

20/80

6/24

60

30

45

20/100

6/30

50

25

37

20/125

6/38

40

20

30

20/160

6/48

30

 

22

20/200

6/60

20

 

 

Column and Use.
[1]Phakic.--1. A lens is present in both eyes. 2. A lens is present in the better eye and absent in the poorer eye. 3. A lens is present in one eye and the other eye is enucleated.
[2]Monocular.--1. A lens is absent in the better eye and present in the poorer eye. 2. The lenses are absent in both eyes; however, the central visual acuity in the poorer eye after best correction in 20/200 or less. 3. A lens is absent from one eye and the other eye is enucleated.
[3]Binocular.--1. The lenses are absent from both eyes and the central visual acuity in the poorer eye after best correction is greater than 20/200.

TABLE NO. 2--CHART OF VISUAL FIELD SHOWING EXTENT OF NORMAL FIELD AND METHOD OF COMPUTING PERCENT OF VISUAL FIELD EFFICIENCY

1. Diagram of right eye illustrates extent of normal visual field as tested on standard perimeter at 3/330 (3 mm. white disc at a distance of 330 mm.) under 7 foot-candles illumination. The sum of the eight principal meridians of this field total 500°.

2. The percent of visual field efficiency is obtained by adding the number of degrees of the eight principal meridians of the contracted field and dividing by 500. Diagram of left eye illustrates visual field contracted to 30° in the temporal and down and out meridians and to 20° in the remaining six meridians. The percent of visual field efficiency of this field is: 6_20+2_30 =180÷500=0.36 or 36 percent remaining visual field efficiency, or 64 percent loss.

3.00 Respiratory System

A. Introduction. The listings in this section describe impairments resulting from respiratory disorders based on symptoms, physical signs, laboratory test abnormalities, and response to a regimen of treatment prescribed by a treating source. Respiratory disorders along with any associated impairment(s) must be established by medical evidence. Evidence must be provided in sufficient detail to permit an independent reviewer to evaluate the severity of the impairment.

Many individuals, especially those who have listing-level impairments, will have received the benefit of medically prescribed treatment. Whenever there is evidence of such treatment, the longitudinal clinical record must include a description of the treatment prescribed by the treating source and response in addition to information about the nature and severity of the impairment. It is important to document any prescribed treatment and response, because this medical management may have improved the individual's functional status. The longitudinal record should provide information regarding functional recovery, if any.

Some individuals will not have received ongoing treatment or have an ongoing relationship with the medical community, despite the existence of a severe impairment(s). An individual who does not receive treatment may or may not be able to show the existence of an impairment that meets the criteria of these listings. Even if an individual does not show that his or her impairment meets the criteria of these listings, the individual may have an impairment(s) equivalent in severity to one of the listed impairments or be disabled because of a limited residual functional capacity. Unless the claim can be decided favorably on the basis of the current evidence, a longitudinal record is still important because it will provide information about such things as the ongoing medical severity of the impairment, the level of the individual's functioning, and the frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms. Also, the asthma listing specifically includes a requirement for continuing signs and symptoms despite a regimen of prescribed treatment.

Impairments caused by chronic disorders of the respiratory system generally produce irreversible loss of pulmonary function due to ventilatory impairments, gas exchange abnormalities, or a combination of both. The most common symptoms attributable to these disorders are dyspnea on exertion, cough, wheezing, sputum production, hemoptysis, and chest pain. Because these symptoms are common to many other diseases, a thorough medical history, physical examination, and chest x-ray or other appropriate imaging technique are required to establish chronic pulmonary disease. Pulmonary function testing is required to assess the severity of the respiratory impairment once a disease process is established by appropriate clinical and laboratory findings.

Alterations of pulmonary function can be due to obstructive airway disease (e.g., emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma), restrictive pulmonary disorders with primary loss of lung volume (e.g., pulmonary resection, thoracoplasty, chest cage deformity as in kyphoscoliosis or obesity), or infiltrative interstitial disorders (e.g., diffuse pulmonary fibrosis). Gas exchange abnormalities without significant airway obstruction can be produced by interstitial disorders. Disorders involving the pulmonary circulation (e.g., primary pulmonary hypertension, recurrent thromboembolic disease, primary or secondary pulmonary vasculitis) can produce pulmonary vascular hypertension and, eventually, pulmonary heart disease (cor pulmonale) and right heart failure. Persistent hypoxemia produced by any chronic pulmonary disorder also can result in chronic pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure. Chronic infection, caused most frequently by mycobacterial or mycotic organisms, can produce extensive and progressive lung destruction resulting in marked loss of pulmonary function. Some disorders, such as bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, and asthma, can be associated with intermittent exacerbations of such frequency and intensity that they produce a disabling impairment, even when pulmonary function during periods of relative clinical stability is relatively well-maintained.

Respiratory impairments usually can be evaluated under these listings on the basis of a complete medical history, physical examination, a chest x-ray or other appropriate imaging techniques, and spirometric pulmonary function tests. In some situations, most typically with a diagnosis of diffuse interstitial fibrosis or clinical findings suggesting cor pulmonale, such as cyanosis or secondary polycythemia, an impairment may be underestimated on the basis of spirometry alone. More sophisticated pulmonary function testing may then be necessary to determine if gas exchange abnormalities contribute to the severity of a respiratory impairment. Additional testing might include measurement of diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide or resting arterial blood gases. Measurement of arterial blood gases during exercise is required infrequently. In disorders of the pulmonary circulation, right heart catheterization with angiography and/or direct measurement of pulmonary artery pressure may have been done to establish a diagnosis and evaluate severity. When performed, the results of the procedure should be obtained. Cardiac catheterization will not be purchased.

These listings are examples of common respiratory disorders that are severe enough to prevent a person from engaging in any gainful activity. When an individual has a medically determinable impairment that is not listed, an impairment which does not meet a listing, or a combination of impairments no one of which meets a listing, we will consider whether the individual's impairment or combination of impairments is medically equivalent in severity to a listed impairment. Individuals who have an impairment(s) with a level of severity which does not meet or equal the criteria of the listings may or may not have the residual functional capacity (RFC) which would enable them to engage in substantial gainful activity. Evaluation of the impairment(s) of these individuals will proceed through the final steps of the sequential evaluation process.

B. Mycobacterial, mycotic, and other chronic persistent infections of the lung. These disorders are evaluated on the basis of the resulting limitations in pulmonary function. Evidence of chronic infections, such as active mycobacterial diseases or mycoses with positive cultures, drug resistance, enlarging parenchymal lesions, or cavitation, is not, by itself, a basis for determining that an individual has a disabling impairment expected to last 12 months. In those unusual cases of pulmonary infection that persist for a period approaching 12 consecutive months, the clinical findings, complications, therapeutic considerations, and prognosis must be carefully assessed to determine whether, despite relatively well-maintained pulmonary function, the individual nevertheless has an impairment that is expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months and prevent gainful activity.

C. Episodic respiratory disease. When a respiratory impairment is episodic in nature, as can occur with exacerbations of asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, or chronic asthmatic bronchitis, the frequency and intensity of episodes that occur despite prescribed treatment are often the major criteria for determining the level of impairment. Documentation for these exacerbations should include available hospital, emergency facility and/or physician records indicating the dates of treatment; clinical and laboratory findings on presentation, such as the results of spirometry and arterial blood gas studies (ABGS); the treatment administered; the time period required for treatment; and the clinical response. Attacks of asthma, episodes of bronchitis or pneumonia or hemoptysis (more than blood-streaked sputum), or respiratory failure as referred to in paragraph B of 3.03, 3.04, and 3.07, are defined as prolonged symptomatic episodes lasting one or more days and requiring intensive treatment, such as intravenous bronchodilator or antibiotic administration or prolonged inhalational bronchodilator therapy in a hospital, emergency room or equivalent setting. Hospital admissions are defined as inpatient hospitalizations for longer than 24 hours. The medical evidence must also include information documenting adherence to a prescribed regimen of treatment as well as a description of physical signs. For asthma, the medical evidence should include spirometric results obtained between attacks that document the presence of baseline airflow obstruction.

D. Cystic fibrosis is a disorder that affects either the respiratory or digestive body systems or both and is responsible for a wide and variable spectrum of clinical manifestations and complications. Confirmation of the diagnosis is based upon an elevated sweat sodium concentration or chloride concentration accompanied by one or more of the following: the presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, insufficiency of exocrine pancreatic function, meconium ileus, or a positive family history. The quantitative pilocarpine iontophoresis procedure for collection of sweat content must be utilized. Two methods are acceptable: the "Procedure for the Quantitative Iontophoretic Sweat Test for Cystic Fibrosis" published by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and contained in, "A Test for Concentration of Electrolytes in Sweat in Cystic Fibrosis of the Pancreas Utilizing Pilocarpine Iontophoresis," Gibson, I.E., and Cooke, R.E., Pediatrics, Vol. 23: 545, 1959; or the "Wescor Macroduct System." To establish the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, the sweat sodium or chloride content must be analyzed quantitatively using an acceptable laboratory technique. Another diagnostic test is the "CF gene mutation analysis" for homozygosity of the cystic fibrosis gene. The pulmonary manifestations of this disorder should be evaluated under 3.04. The nonpulmonary aspects of cystic fibrosis should be evaluated under the digestive body system (5.00). Because cystic fibrosis may involve the respiratory and digestive body systems, the combined effects of the involvement of these body systems must be considered in case adjudication.

E. Documentation of pulmonary function testing. The results of spirometry that are used for adjudication under paragraphs A and B of 3.02 and paragraph A of 3.04 should be expressed in liters (L), body temperature and pressure saturated with water vapor (BTPS). The reported one-second forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) should represent the largest of at least three satisfactory forced expiratory maneuvers. Two of the satisfactory spirograms should be reproducible for both pre-bronchodilator tests and, if indicated, post-bronchodilator tests. A value is considered reproducible if it does not differ from the largest value by more than 5 percent or 0.1 L, whichever is greater. The highest values of the FEV1 and FVC, whether from the same or different tracings, should be used to assess the severity of the respiratory impairment. Peak flow should be achieved early in expiration, and the spirogram should have a smooth contour with gradually decreasing flow throughout expiration. The zero time for measurement of the FEV1 and FVC, if not distinct, should be derived by linear back-extrapolation of peak flow to zero volume. A spirogram is satisfactory for measurement of the FEV1 if the expiratory volume at the back-extrapolated zero time is less than 5 percent of the FVC or 0.1 L, whichever is greater. The spirogram is satisfactory for measurement of the FVC if maximal expiratory effort continues for at least 6 seconds, or if there is a plateau in the volume-time curve with no detectable change in expired volume (VE) during the last 2 seconds of maximal expiratory effort.

Spirometry should be repeated after administration of an aerosolized bronchodilator under supervision of the testing personnel if the pre-bronchodilator FEV1 value is less than 70 percent of the predicted normal value. Pulmonary function studies should not be performed unless the clinical status is stable (e.g., the individual is not having an asthmatic attack or suffering from an acute respiratory infection or other chronic illness). Wheezing is common in asthma, chronic bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and does not preclude testing. The effect of the administered bronchodilator in relieving bronchospasm and improving ventilatory function is assessed by spirometry. If a bronchodilator is not administered, the reason should be clearly stated in the report. Pulmonary function studies performed to assess airflow obstruction without testing after bronchodilators cannot be used to assess levels of impairment in the range that prevents any gainful work activity, unless the use of bronchodilators is contraindicated. Post-bronchodilator testing should be performed 10 minutes after bronchodilator administration. The dose and name of the bronchodilator administered should be specified. The values in paragraphs A and B of 3.02 must only be used as criteria for the level of ventilatory impairment that exists during the individual's most stable state of health (i.e., any period in time except during or shortly after an exacerbation).

The appropriately labeled spirometric tracing, showing the claimant's name, date of testing, distance per second on the abscissa and distance per liter (L) on the ordinate, must be incorporated into the file. The manufacturer and model number of the device used to measure and record the spirogram should be stated. The testing device must accurately measure both time and volume, the latter to within 1 percent of a 3 L calibrating volume. If the spirogram was generated by any means other than direct pen linkage to a mechanical displacement-type spirometer, the spirometric tracing must show a recorded calibration of volume units using a mechanical volume input such as a 3 L syringe.

If the spirometer directly measures flow, and volume is derived by electronic integration, the linearity of the device must be documented by recording volume calibrations at three different flow rates of approximately 30 L/min (3 L/6 sec), 60 L/min (3 L/3 sec), and 180 L/min (3 L/sec). The volume calibrations should agree to within 1 percent of a 3 L calibrating volume. The proximity of the flow sensor to the individual should be noted, and it should be stated whether or not a BTPS correction factor was used for the calibration recordings and for the individual's actual spirograms.

The spirogram must be recorded at a speed of at least 20 mm/sec, and the recording device must provide a volume excursion of at least 10 mm/L. If reproductions of the original spirometric tracings are submitted, they must be legible and have a time scale of at least 20 mm/sec and a volume scale of at least 10 mm/L to permit independent measurements. Calculation of FEV1 from a flow-volume tracing is not acceptable, i.e., the spirogram and calibrations must be presented in a volume-time format at a speed of at least 20 mm/sec and a volume excursion of at least 10 mm/L to permit independent evaluation.

A statement should be made in the pulmonary function test report of the individual's ability to understand directions as well as his or her effort and cooperation in performing the pulmonary function tests.

The pulmonary function tables in 3.02 and 3.04 are based on measurement of standing height without shoes. If an individual has marked spinal deformities (e.g., kyphoscoliosis), the measured span between the fingertips with the upper extremities abducted 90 degrees should be substituted for height when this measurement is greater than the standing height without shoes.

F. Documentation of chronic impairment of gas exchange.

1. Diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide (DLCO). A diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide study should be purchased in cases in which there is documentation of chronic pulmonary disease, but the existing evidence, including properly performed spirometry, is not adequate to establish the level of functional impairment. Before purchasing DLCO measurements, the medical history, physical examination, reports of chest x-ray or other appropriate imaging techniques, and spirometric test results must be obtained and reviewed because favorable decisions can often be made based on available evidence without the need for DLCO studies. Purchase of a DLCO study may be appropriate when there is a question of whether an impairment meets or is equivalent in severity to a listing, and the claim cannot otherwise be favorably decided.

The DLCO should be measured by the single breath technique with the individual relaxed and seated. At sea level, the inspired gas mixture should contain approximately 0.3 percent carbon monoxide (CO), 10 percent helium (He), 21 percent oxygen (O2), and the balance nitrogen. At altitudes above sea level, the inspired O2 concentration may be raised to provide an inspired O2 tension of approximately 150 mm Hg. Alternatively, the sea level mixture may be employed at altitude and the measured DLCO corrected for ambient barometric pressure. Helium may be replaced by another inert gas at an appropriate concentration. The inspired volume (VI) during the DLCO maneuver should be at least 90 percent of the previously determined vital capacity (VC). The inspiratory time for the VI should be less than 2 seconds, and the breath-hold time should be between 9 and 11 seconds. The washout volume should be between 0.75 and 1.00 L, unless the VC is less than 2 L. In this case, the washout volume may be reduced to 0.50 L; any such change should be noted in the report. The alveolar sample volume should be between 0.5 and 1.0 L and be collected in less than 3 seconds. At least 4 minutes should be allowed for gas washout between repeat studies.

A DLCO should be reported in units of ml CO, standard temperature, pressure, dry (STPD)/min/mm Hg uncorrected for hemoglobin concentration and be based on a single-breath alveolar volume determination. Abnormal hemoglobin or hematocrit values, and/or carboxyhemoglobin levels should be reported along with diffusing capacity.

The DLCO value used for adjudication should represent the mean of at least two acceptable measurements, as defined above. In addition, two acceptable tests should be within 10 percent of each other or 3 ml CO(STPD)/min/mm Hg, whichever is larger. The percent difference should be calculated as 100_(test 1-test 2)/average DLCO.

The ability of the individual to follow directions and perform the test properly should be described in the written report. The report should include tracings of the VI, breath-hold maneuver, and VE appropriately labeled with the name of the individual and the date of the test. The time axis should be at least 20 mm/sec and the volume axis at least 10 mm/L. The percentage concentrations of inspired O2, and inspired and expired CO and He for each of the maneuvers should be provided, and the algorithm used to calculate test results noted. Sufficient data must be provided to permit independent calculation of results (and, if necessary, calculation of corrections for anemia and/or carboxyhemoglobin).

2. Arterial blood gas studies (ABGS). An ABGS performed at rest (while breathing room air, awake and sitting or standing) or during exercise should be analyzed in a laboratory certified by a State or Federal agency. If the laboratory is not certified, it must submit evidence of participation in a national proficiency testing program as well as acceptable quality control at the time of testing. The report should include the altitude of the facility and the barometric pressure on the date of analysis.

Purchase of resting ABGS may be appropriate when there is a question of whether an impairment meets or is equivalent in severity to a listing, and the claim cannot otherwise be favorably decided. If the results of a DLCO study are greater than 40 percent of predicted normal but less than 60 percent of predicted normal, purchase of resting ABGS should be considered. Before purchasing resting ABGS, a program physician, preferably one experienced in the care of patients with pulmonary disease, must review all clinical and laboratory data short of this procedure, including spirometry, to determine whether obtaining the test would present a significant risk to the individual.

3. Exercise testing. Exercise testing with measurement of arterial blood gases during exercise may be appropriate in cases in which there is documentation of chronic pulmonary disease, but full development, short of exercise testing, is not adequate to establish if the impairment meets or is equivalent in severity to a listing, and the claim cannot otherwise be favorably decided. In this context, "full development" means that results from spirometry and measurement of DLCO and resting ABGS have been obtained from treating sources or through purchase. Exercise arterial blood gas measurements will be required infrequently and should be purchased only after careful review of the medical history, physical examination, chest x-ray or other appropriate imaging techniques, spirometry, DLCO, electrocardiogram (ECG), hematocrit or hemoglobin, and resting blood gas results by a program physician, preferably one experienced in the care of patients with pulmonary disease, to determine whether obtaining the test would presents a significant risk to the individual. Oximetry and capillary blood gas analysis are not acceptable substitutes for the measurement of arterial blood gases. Arterial blood gas samples obtained after the completion of exercise are not acceptable for establishing an individual's functional capacity.

Generally, individuals with a DLCO greater than 60 percent of predicted normal would not be considered for exercise testing with measurement of blood gas studies. The exercise test facility must be provided with the claimant's clinical records, reports of chest x-ray or other appropriate imaging techniques, and any spirometry, DLCO, and resting blood gas results obtained as evidence of record. The testing facility must determine whether exercise testing present a significant risk to the individual; if it does, the reason for not performing the test must be reported in writing.

4. Methodology. Individuals considered for exercise testing first should have resting arterial blood partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), resting arterial blood partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2) and negative log of hydrogen ion concentration (pH) determinations by the testing facility. The sample should be obtained in either the sitting or standing position. The individual should then perform exercise under steady state conditions, preferably on a treadmill, breathing room air, for a period of 4 to 6 minutes at a speed and grade providing an oxygen consumption of approximately 17.5 ml/kg/min (5 METs). If a bicycle ergometer is used, an exercise equivalent of 5 METs (e.g., 450 kpm/min, or 75 watts, for a 176 pound (80 kilogram) person) should be used. If the individual is able to complete this level of exercise without achieving listing-level hypoxemia, then he or she should be exercised at higher workloads to determine exercise capacity. A warm-up period of treadmill walking or cycling may be performed to acquaint the individual with the exercise procedure. If during the warm-up period the individual cannot achieve an exercise level of 5 METs, a lower workload may be selected in keeping with the estimate of exercise capacity. The individual should be monitored by ECG throughout the exercise and in the immediate post-exercise period. Blood pressure and an ECG should be recorded during each minute of exercise. During the final 2 minutes of a specific level of steady state exercise, an arterial blood sample should be drawn and analyzed for oxygen pressure (or tension) (PO2), carbon dioxide pressure (or tension) (PCO2), and pH. At the discretion of the testing facility, the sample may be obtained either from an indwelling arterial catheter or by direct arterial puncture. If possible, in order to evaluate exercise capacity more accurately, a test site should be selected that has the capability to measure minute ventilation, O2 consumption, and carbon dioxide (CO2) production. If the claimant fails to complete 4 to 6 minutes of steady state exercise, the testing laboratory should comment on the reason and report the actual duration and levels of exercise performed. This comment is necessary to determine if the individual's test performance was limited by lack of effort or other impairment (e.g., cardiac, peripheral vascular, musculoskeletal, neurological).

The exercise test report should contain representative ECG strips taken before, during and after exercise; resting and exercise arterial blood gas values; treadmill speed and grade settings, or, if a bicycle ergometer was used, exercise levels expressed in watts or kpm/min; and the duration of exercise. Body weight also should be recorded. If measured, O2 consumption (STPD), minute ventilation (BTPS), and CO2 production (STPD) also should be reported. The altitude of the test site, its normal range of blood gas values, and the barometric pressure on the test date must be noted.

G. Chronic cor pulmonale and pulmonary vascular disease. The establishment of an impairment attributable to irreversible cor pulmonale secondary to chronic pulmonary hypertension requires documentation by signs and laboratory findings of right ventricular overload or failure (e.g., an early diastolic right-sided gallop on auscultation, neck vein distension, hepatomegaly, peripheral edema, right ventricular outflow tract enlargement on x-ray or other appropriate imaging techniques, right ventricular hypertrophy on ECG, and increased pulmonary artery pressure measured by right heart catheterization available from treating sources). Cardiac catheterization will not be purchased. Because hypoxemia may accompany heart failure and is also a cause of pulmonary hypertension, and may be associated with hypoventilation and respiratory acidosis, arterial blood gases may demonstrate hypoxemia (decreased PO2), CO2 retention (increased PCO2), and acidosis (decreased pH). Polycythemia with an elevated red blood cell count and hematocrit may be found in the presence of chronic hypoxemia.

P-pulmonale on the ECG does not establish chronic pulmonary hypertension or chronic cor pulmonale. Evidence of florid right heart failure need not be present at the time of adjudication for a listing (e.g., 3.09) to be satisfied, but the medical evidence of record should establish that cor pulmonale is chronic and irreversible.

H. Sleep-related breathing disorders. Sleep-related breathing disorders (sleep apneas) are caused by periodic cessation of respiration associated with hypoxemia and frequent arousals from sleep. Although many individuals with one of these disorders will respond to prescribed treatment, in some, the disturbed sleep pattern and associated chronic nocturnal hypoxemia cause daytime sleepiness with chronic pulmonary hypertension and/or disturbances in cognitive function. Because daytime sleepiness can affect memory, orientation, and personality, a longitudinal treatment record may be needed to evaluate mental functioning. Not all individuals with sleep apnea develop a functional impairment that affects work activity. When any gainful work is precluded, the physiologic basis for the impairment may be chronic cor pulmonale. Chronic hypoxemia due to episodic apnea may cause pulmonary hypertension (see 3.00G and 3.09). Daytime somnolence may be associated with disturbance in cognitive vigilance. Impairment of cognitive function may be evaluated under organic mental disorders (12.02). If the disorder is associated with gross obesity, it should be evaluated under the applicable obesity listing.

3.01 Category of Impairments, Respiratory System.

3.02 Chronic pulmonary insufficiency.

A. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, due to any cause, with the FEV1 equal to or less than the values specified in table I corresponding to the person's height without shoes. (In cases of marked spinal deformity, see 3.00E.);

Table I

Height without shoes (centimeters)

Height without shoes (inches)

FEV1 equal to or less than (L, BTPS)

154 or less

60 or less

1.05

155-160

61-63

1.15

161-165

64-65

1.25

166-170

66-67

1.35

171-175

68-69

1.45

176-180

70-71

1.55

181 or more

72 or more

1.65

Or

B. Chronic restrictive ventilatory disease, due to any cause, with the FVC equal to or less than the values specified in table II corresponding to the person's height without shoes. (In cases of marked spinal deformity, see 3.00E.);

Table II

Height without shoes (centimeters)

Height without shoes (inches)

FVC equal to or less than (L, BTPS)

154 or less

60 or less

1.25

155-160

61-63

1.35

161-165

64-65

1.45

166-170

66-67

1.55

171-175

68-69

1.65

176-180

70-71

1.75

181 or more

72 or more

1.85

Or

C. Chronic impairment of gas exchange due to clinically documented pulmonary disease. With:

1. Single breath DLCO (see 3.00F1) less than 10.5 ml/min/mm Hg or less than 40 percent of the predicted normal value. (Predicted values must either be based on data obtained at the test site or published values from a laboratory using the same technique as the test site. The source of the predicted values should be reported. If they are not published, they should be submitted in the form of a table or nomogram); or

2. Arterial blood gas values of PO2 and simultaneously determined PCO2 measured while at rest (breathing room air, awake and sitting or standing) in a clinically stable condition on at least two occasions, three or more weeks apart within a 6-month period, equal to or less than the values specified in the applicable table III-A or III-B or III-C:

Table III--A
[Applicable at test sites less than 3,000 feet above sea level]

Arterial PCO2 (mm. Hg) and

Arterial PO2 equal to or less than (mm. Hg)

30 or below

65

31

64

32

63

33

62

34

61

35

60

36

59

37

58

38

57

39

56

40 or above

55

Table III--B
[Applicable at test sites 3,000 through 6,000 feet above sea level]

Arterial PCO2 (mm. Hg) and

Arterial PO2 equal to or less than (mm. Hg)

30 or below

60

31

59

32

58

33

57

34

56

35

55

36

54

37

53

38

52

39

51

40 or above

50

Table III--C
[Applicable at test sites over 6,000 feet above sea level]

Arterial PCO2 (mm. Hg) and

Arterial PO2 or equal to or less than (mm. Hg)

30 or below

55

31

54

32

53

33

52

34

51

35

50

36

49

37

48

38

47

39

46

40 or above

45

Or

3. Arterial blood gas values of PO2 and simultaneously determined PCO2 during steady state exercise breathing room air (level of exercise equivalent to or less than 17.5 ml O2 consumption/kg/min or 5 METs) equal to or less than the values specified in the applicable table III-A or III-B or III-C in 3.02C2.

3.03 Asthma. With:

A. Chronic asthmatic bronchitis. Evaluate under the criteria for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 3.02A;

Or

B. Attacks (as defined in 3.00C), in spite of prescribed treatment and requiring physician intervention, occurring at least once every 2 months or at least six times a year. Each in-patient hospitalization for longer than 24 hours for control of asthma counts as two attacks, and an evaluation period of at least 12 consecutive months must be used to determine the frequency of attacks.

3.04 Cystic fibrosis. With:

A. An FEV1 equal to or less than the appropriate value specified in table IV corresponding to the individual's height without shoes. (In cases of marked spinal deformity, see 3.00E.);

Or

B. Episodes of bronchitis or pneumonia or hemoptysis (more than blood-streaked sputum) or respiratory failure (documented according to 3.00C), requiring physician intervention, occurring at least once every 2 months or at least six times a year. Each inpatient hospitalization for longer than 24 hours for treatment counts as two episodes, and an evaluation period of at least 12 consecutive months must be used to determine the frequency of episodes;

Or

C. Persistent pulmonary infection accompanied by superimposed, recurrent, symptomatic episodes of increased bacterial infection occurring at least once every 6 months and requiring intravenous or nebulization antimicrobial therapy.

Table IV
[Applicable only for evaluation under 3.04A--cystic fibrosis]

Height without shoes (centimeters)

Height without shoes (inches)

FEV1 equal to or less than (L, BTPS)

154 or less

60 or less

1.45

155-159

61-62

1.55

160-164

63-64

1.65

165-169

65-66

1.75

170-174

67-68

1.85

175-179

69-70

1.95

180 or more

71 or more

2.05

3.05 [Reserved]

3.06 Pneumoconiosis (demonstrated by appropriate imaging techniques). Evaluate under the appropriate criteria in 3.02.

3.07 Bronchiectasis (demonstrated by appropriate imaging techniques). With:

A. Impairment of pulmonary function due to extensive disease. Evaluate under the appropriate criteria in 3.02;

Or

B. Episodes of bronchitis or pneumonia or hemoptysis (more than blood-streaked sputum) or respiratory failure (documented according to 3.00C), requiring physician intervention, occurring at least once every 2 months or at least six times a year. Each in-patient hospitalization for longer than 24 hours for treatment counts as two episodes, and an evaluation of at least 12 consecutive months must be used to determine the frequency of episodes.

3.08 Mycobacterial, mycotic, and other chronic persistent infections of the lung (see 3.00B). Evaluate under the appropriate criteria in 3.02.

3.09 Cor pulmonale secondary to chronic pulmonary vascular hypertension. Clinical evidence of cor pulmonale (documented according to 3.00G) with:

A. Mean pulmonary artery pressure greater than 40 mm Hg;

Or

B. Arterial hypoxemia. Evaluate under the criteria in 3.02C2;

Or

C. Evaluate under the applicable criteria in 4.02.

3.10 Sleep-related breathing disorders. Evaluate under 3.09 (chronic cor pulmonale), 9.09 (obesity), or 12.02 (organic mental disorders).

4.00 Cardiovascular System

A. Introduction. The listings in this section describe impairments resulting from cardiovascular disease based on symptoms, physical signs, laboratory test abnormalities, and response to a regimen of therapy prescribed by a treating source. A longitudinal clinical record covering a period of not less than 3 months of observations and therapy is usually necessary for the assessment of severity and expected duration of cardiovascular impairment, unless the claim can be decided favorably on the basis of the current evidence. All relevant evidence must be considered in assessing disability.

Many individuals, especially those who have listing-level impairments, will have received the benefit of medically prescribed treatment. Whenever there is evidence of such treatment, the longitudinal clinical record must include a description of the therapy prescribed by the treating source and response, in addition to information about the nature and severity of the impairment. It is important to document any prescribed therapy and response because this medical management may have improved the individual's functional status. The longitudinal record should provide information regarding functional recovery, if any.

Some individuals will not have received ongoing treatment or have an ongoing relationship with the medical community despite the existence of a severe impairment(s). Unless the claim can be decided favorably on the basis of the current evidence, a longitudinal record is still important because it will provide information about such things as the ongoing medical severity of the impairment, the degree of recovery from cardiac insult, the level of the individual's functioning, and the frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms. Also, several listings include a requirement for continuing signs and symptoms despite a regimen of prescribed treatment. Even though an individual who does not receive treatment may not be able to show an impairment that meets the criteria of these listings, the individual may have an impairment(s) equivalent in severity to one of the listed impairments or be disabled because of a limited residual functional capacity.

Indeed, it must be remembered that these listings are only examples of common cardiovascular disorders that are severe enough to prevent a person from engaging in gainful activity. Therefore, in any case in which an individual has a medically determinable impairment that is not listed, or a combination of impairments no one of which meets a listing, we will make a medical equivalence determination. Individuals who have an impairment(s) with a level of severity which does not meet or equal the criteria of the cardiovascular listings may or may not have the residual functional capacity (RFC) which would enable them to engage in substantial gainful activity. Evaluation of the impairment(s) of these individuals should proceed through the final steps of the sequential evaluation process (or, as appropriate, the steps in the medical improvement review standard).

B. Cardiovascular impairment results from one or more of four consequences of heart disease:

1. Chronic heart failure or ventricular dysfunction.

2. Discomfort or pain due to myocardial ischemia, with or without necrosis of heart muscle.

3. Syncope, or near syncope, due to inadequate cerebral perfusion from any cardiac cause such as obstruction of flow or disturbance in rhythm or conduction resulting in inadequate cardiac output.

4. Central cyanosis due to right-to-left shunt, arterial desaturation, or pulmonary vascular disease.

Impairment from diseases of arteries and veins may result from disorders of the vasculature in the central nervous system (11.04A, B), eyes (2.02-2.04), kidney (6.02), and other organs.

C. Documentation. Each individual's file must include sufficiently detailed reports on history, physical examinations, laboratory studies, and any prescribed therapy and response to allow an independent reviewer to assess the severity and duration of the cardiovascular impairment.

1. Electrocardiography

a. An original or legible copy of the 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) obtained at rest must be submitted, appropriately dated and labeled, with the standardization inscribed on the tracing. Alteration in standardization of specific leads (such as to accommodate large QRS amplitudes) must be identified on those leads.

(1) Detailed descriptions or computer-averaged signals without original or legible copies of the ECG as described in subsection 4.00Cla are not acceptable.

(2) The effects of drugs or electrolyte abnormalities must be considered as possible noncoronary causes of ECG abnormalities of ventricular repolarization, i.e., those involving the ST segment and T wave. If available, the predrug (especially digitalis glycoside) ECG should be submitted.

(3) The term "ischemic" is used in 4.04A to describe an abnormal ST segment deviation. Nonspecific repolarization abnormalities should not be confused with "ischemic" changes.

b. ECGs obtained in conjunction with treadmill, bicycle, or arm exercise tests should meet the following specifications:

(1) ECGs must include the original calibrated ECG tracings or a legible copy.

(2) A 12-lead baseline ECG must be recorded in the upright position before exercise.

(3) A 12-lead ECG should be recorded at the end of each minute of exercise, including at the time the ST segment abnormalities reach or exceed the criteria for abnormality described in 4.04A or the individual experiences chest discomfort or other abnormalities, and also when the exercise test is terminated.

(4) If ECG documentation of the effects of hyperventilation is obtained, the exercise test should be deferred for at least 10 minutes because metabolic changes of hyperventilation may alter the physiologic and ECG response to exercise.

(5) Post-exercise ECGs should be recorded using a generally accepted protocol consistent with the prevailing state of medical knowledge and clinical practice.

(6) All resting, exercise, and recovery ECG strips must have a standardization inscribed on the tracing. The ECG strips should be labeled to indicate the times recorded and the relationship to the stage of the exercise protocol. The speed and grade (treadmill test) or work rate (bicycle or arm ergometric test) should be recorded. The highest level of exercise achieved, blood pressure levels during testing, and the reason(s) for terminating the test (including limiting signs or symptoms) must be recorded.

2. Purchasing Exercise Tests

a. It is well recognized by medical experts that exercise testing is the best tool currently available for estimating maximal aerobic capacity in individuals with cardiovascular impairments. Purchase of an exercise test may be appropriate when there is a question whether an impairment meets or is equivalent in severity to one of the listings, or when there is insufficient evidence in the record to evaluate aerobic capacity, and the claim cannot otherwise be favorably decided. Before purchasing an exercise test, a program physician, preferably one with experience in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease, must review the pertinent history, physical examinations, and laboratory tests to determine whether obtaining the test would present a significant risk to the individual (see 4.00C2c). Purchase may be indicated when there is no significant risk to exercise testing and there is no timely test of record. An exercise test is generally considered timely for 12 months after the date performed, provided there has been no change in clinical status that may alter the severity of the cardiac impairment.

b. Methodology.

(1) When an exercise test is purchased, it should be a "sign-or symptom-limited" test characterized by a progressive multistage regimen. A purchased exercise test must be performed using a generally accepted protocol consistent with the prevailing state of medical knowledge and clinical practice. A description of the protocol that was followed must be provided, and the test must meet the requirements of 4.00C1b and this section. A pre-exercise posthyperventilation tracing may be essential for the proper evaluation of an "abnormal" test in certain circumstances, such as in women with evidence of mitral valve prolapse.

(2) The exercise test should be paced to the capabilities of the individual and be supervised by a physician. With a treadmill test, the speed, grade (incline) and duration of exercise must be recorded for each exercise test stage performed. Other exercise test protocols or techniques that are used should utilize similar workloads.

(3) Levels of exercise should be described in terms of workload and duration of each stage, e.g., treadmill speed and grade, or bicycle ergometer work rate in kpm/min or watts.

(4) Normally, systolic blood pressure and heart rate increase gradually with exercise. A decrease in systolic blood pressure during exercise below the usual resting level is often associated with ischemia-induced left ventricular dysfunction resulting in decreased cardiac output. Some individuals (because of deconditioning or apprehension) with increased sympathetic responses may increase their systolic blood pressure and heart rate above their usual resting level just before and early into exercise. This occurrence may limit the ability to assess the significance of an early decrease in systolic blood pressure and heart rate if exercise is discontinued shortly after initiation. In addition, isolated systolic hypertension may be a manifestation of arteriosclerosis.

(5) The exercise laboratory's physical environment, staffing, and equipment should meet the generally accepted standards for adult exercise test laboratories.

c. Risk factors in exercise testing. The following are examples of situations in which exercise testing will not be purchased: unstable progressive angina pectoris, a history of acute myocardial infarction within the past 3 months, New York Heart Association (NYHA) class IV heart failure, cardiac drug toxicity, uncontrolled serious arrhythmia (including uncontrolled atrial fibrillation, Mobitz II, and third-degree block), Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, uncontrolled severe systemic arterial hypertension, marked pulmonary hypertension, unrepaired aortic dissection, left main stenosis of 50 percent or greater, marked aortic stenosis, chronic or dissecting aortic aneurysm, recent pulmonary embolism, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, limiting neurological or musculoskeletal impairments, or an acute illness. In addition, an exercise test should not be purchased for individuals for whom the performance of the test is considered to constitute a significant risk by a program physician, preferably one experienced in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease, even in the absence of any of the above risk factors. In defining risk, the program physician, in accordance with the regulations and other instructions on consultative examinations, will generally give great weight to the treating physicians' opinions and will generally not override them. In the rare situation in which the program physician does override the treating source's opinion, a written rationale must be prepared documenting the reasons for overriding the opinion.

d. In order to permit maximal, attainable restoration of functional capacity, exercise testing should not be purchased until 3 months after an acute myocardial infarction, surgical myocardial revascularization, or other open-heart surgical procedures. Purchase of an exercise test should also be deferred for 3 months after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty because restenosis with ischemic symptoms may occur within a few months of angioplasty (see 4.00D). Also, individuals who have had a period of bedrest or inactivity (e.g., 2 weeks) that results in a reversible deconditioned state may do poorly if exercise testing is performed at that time.

e. Evaluation.

(1) Exercise testing is evaluated on the basis of the work level at which the test becomes abnormal, as documented by onset of signs or symptoms and any ECG abnormalities listed in 4.04A. The ability or inability to complete an exercise test is not, by itself, evidence that a person is free from ischemic heart disease. The results of an exercise test must be considered in the context of all of the other evidence in the individual's case record. If the individual is under the care of a treating physician for a cardiac impairment, and this physician has not performed an exercise test and there are no reported significant risks to testing (see 4.00C2c), a statement should be requested from the treating physician explaining why it was not done or should not be done before deciding whether an exercise test should be purchased. In those rare situations in which the treating source's opinion is overridden, follow 4.00C2c. If there is no treating physician, the program physician will be responsible for assessing the risk to exercise testing.

(2) Limitations to exercise test interpretation include the presence of noncoronary or nonischemic factors that may influence the hemodynamic and ECG response to exercise, such as hypokalemia or other electrolyte abnormality, hyperventilation, vasoregulatory deconditioning, prolonged periods of physical inactivity (e.g., 2 weeks of bedrest), significant anemia, left bundle branch block pattern on the ECG (and other conduction abnormalities that do not preclude the purchase of exercise testing), and other heart diseases or abnormalities (particularly valvular heart disease). Digitalis glycosides may cause ST segment abnormalities at rest, during, and after exercise. Digitalis or other drug-related ST segment displacement, present at rest, may become accentuated with exercise and make ECG interpretation difficult, but such drugs do not invalidate an otherwise normal exercise test. Diuretic-induced hypokalemia and left ventricular hypertrophy may also be associated with repolarization changes and behave similarly. Finally, treatment with beta blockers slows the heart rate more at near-maximal exertion than at rest; this limits apparent chronotropic capacity.

3. Other Studies

Information from two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiographic studies of ventricular size and function as well as radionuclide (thallium201) myocardial "perfusion" or radionuclide (technetium 99m) ventriculograms (RVG or MUGA) may be useful. These techniques can provide a reliable estimate of ejection fraction. In selected cases, these tests may be purchased after a medical history and physical examination, report of chest x-rays, ECGs, and other appropriate tests have been evaluated, preferably by a program physician with experience in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease. Purchase should be considered when other information available is not adequate to assess whether the individual may have severe ventricular dysfunction or myocardial ischemia and there is no significant risk involved (follow 4.00C2a guides), and the claim cannot be favorably decided on any other basis.

Exercise testing with measurement of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2) provides an accurate determination of aerobic capacity. An exercise test without measurement of oxygen uptake provides an estimate of aerobic capacity. When the results of tests with measurement of oxygen uptake are available, every reasonable effort should be made to obtain them.

The recording of properly calibrated ambulatory ECGs for analysis of ST segment signals with a concomitantly recorded symptom and treatment log may permit more adequate evaluation of chest discomfort during activities of daily living, but the significance of these data for disability evaluation has not been established in the absence of symptoms (e.g., silent ischemia). This information (including selected segments of both the ECG recording and summary report of the patient diary) may be submitted for the record.

4. Cardiac catheterization will not be purchased by the Social Security Administration.

a. Coronary arteriography. If results of such testing are available, the report should be obtained and considered as to the quality and type of data provided and its relevance to the evaluation of the impairment. A copy of the report of the cardiac catheterization and ancillary studies should also be obtained. The report should provide information citing the method of assessing coronary arterial lumen diameter and the nature and location of obstructive lesions. Drug treatment at baseline and during the procedure should be reported. Coronary artery spasm induced by intracoronary catheterization is not to be considered evidence of ischemic disease. Some individuals with significant coronary atherosclerotic obstruction have collateral vessels that supply the myocardium distal to the arterial obstruction so that there is no evidence of myocardial damage or ischemia, even with exercise. When available, quantitative computer measurements and analyses should be considered in the interpretation of severity of stenotic lesions.

b. Left ventriculography (by angiography). The report should describe the wall motion of the myocardium with regard to any areas of hypokinesis, akinesis, or dyskinesis, and the overall contraction of the ventricle as measured by the ejection fraction. Measurement of chamber volumes and pressures may be useful. When available, quantitative computer analysis provides precise measurement of segmental left ventricular wall thickness and motion. There is often a poor correlation between left ventricular function at rest and functional capacity for physical activity.

D. Treatment and relationship to functional status.

1. In general, conclusions about the severity of a cardiovascular impairment cannot be made on the basis of type of treatment rendered or anticipated. The overall clinical and laboratory evidence, including the treatment plan(s) or results, should be persuasive that a listing-level impairment exists. The amount of function restored and the time required for improvement after treatment (medical, surgical, or a prescribed program of progressive physical activity) vary with the nature and extent of the disorder, the type of treatment, and other factors. Depending upon the timing of this treatment in relation to the alleged onset date of disability, impairment evaluation may need to be deferred for a period of up to 3 months from the date of treatment to permit consideration of treatment effects. Evaluation should not be deferred if the claim can be favorably decided based upon the available evidence.

2. The usual time after myocardial infarction, valvular and/or revascularization surgery for adequate assessment of the results of treatment is considered to be 3 months. If an exercise test is performed by a treating source within a week or two after angioplasty, and there is no significant change in clinical status during the 3-month period after the angioplasty that would invalidate the implications of the exercise test results, the exercise test results may be used to reflect functional capacity during the period in question. However, if the test was done immediately following an acute myocardial infarction or during a period of protracted inactivity, the results should not be projected to 3 months even if there is no change in clinical status.

3. An individual who has undergone cardiac transplantation will be considered under a disability for 1 year following the surgery because, during the first year, there is a greater likelihood of rejection of the organ and recurrent infection. After the first year posttransplantation, continuing disability evaluation will be based upon residual impairment as shown by symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings. Absence of symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings indicative of cardiac dysfunction will be included in the consideration of whether medical improvement (as defined in §§404.1579 (b)(1) and (c)(1), 404.1594 (b)(1) and (c)(1), or 416.994 (b)(1)(i) and (b)(2)(i), as appropriate) has occurred.

E. Clinical syndromes.

1. Chronic heart failure (ventricular dysfunction) is considered in these listings as one category whatever its etiology, i.e., atherosclerotic, hypertensive, rheumatic, pulmonary, congenital or other organic heart disease. Chronic heart failure may manifest itself by:

a. Pulmonary or systemic congestion, or both; or

b. Symptoms of limited cardiac output, such as weakness, fatigue, or intolerance of physical activity.

For the purpose of 4.02A, pulmonary and systemic congestion are not considered to have been established unless there is or has been evidence of fluid retention, such as hepatomegaly or ascites, or peripheral or pulmonary edema of cardiac origin. The findings of fluid retention need not be present at the time of adjudication because congestion may be controlled with medication. Chronic heart failure due to limited cardiac output is not considered to have been established for the purpose of 4.02B unless symptoms occur with ordinary daily activities, i.e., activity restriction as manifested by a need to decrease activity or pace, or to rest intermittently, and are associated with one or more physical signs or abnormal laboratory studies listed in 4.02B. These studies include exercise testing with ECG and blood pressure recording and/or appropriate imaging techniques, such as two-dimensional echocardiography or radionuclide or contrast ventriculography. The exercise criteria are outlined in 4.02B1. In addition, other abnormal symptoms, signs, or laboratory test results that lend credence to the impression of ventricular dysfunction should be considered.

2. For the purposes of 4.03, hypertensive cardiovascular disease is evaluated by reference to the specific organ system involved (heart, brain, kidneys, or eyes). The presence of organic impairment must be established by appropriate physical signs and laboratory test abnormalities as specified in 4.02 or 4.04, or for the body system involved.

3. Ischemic (coronary) heart disease may result in an impairment due to myocardial ischemia and/or ventricular dysfunction or infarction. For the purposes of 4.04, the clinical determination that discomfort of myocardial ischemic origin (angina pectoris) is present must be supported by objective evidence as described under 4.00Cl, 2, 3, or 4.

a. Discomfort of myocardial ischemic origin (angina pectoris) is discomfort that is precipitated by effort and/or emotion and promptly relieved by sublingual nitroglycerin, other rapidly acting nitrates, or rest. Typically the discomfort is located in the chest (usually substernal) and described as crushing, squeezing, burning, aching, or oppressive. Sharp, sticking, or cramping discomfort is considered less common or atypical. Discomfort occurring with activity or emotion should be described specifically as to timing and usual inciting factors (type and intensity), character, location, radiation, duration, and response to nitrate therapy or rest.

b. So-called anginal equivalent may be localized to the neck, jaw(s), or hand(s) and has the same precipitating and relieving factors as typical chest discomfort. Isolated shortness of breath (dyspnea) is not considered an anginal equivalent for purposes of adjudication.

c. Variant angina of the Prinzmetal type, i.e., rest angina with transitory ST segment elevation on ECG, may have the same significance as typical angina, described in 4.00E3a.

d. If there is documented evidence of silent ischemia or restricted activity to prevent chest discomfort, this information must be considered along with all available evidence to determine if an equivalence decision is appropriate.

e. Chest discomfort of myocardial ischemic origin is usually caused by coronary artery disease. However, ischemic discomfort may be caused by noncoronary artery conditions, such as critical aortic stenosis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension, or anemia. These conditions should be distinguished from coronary artery disease, because the evaluation criteria, management, and prognosis (duration) may differ from that of coronary artery disease.

f. Chest discomfort of nonischemic origin may result from other cardiac conditions such as pericarditis and mitral valve prolapse. Noncardiac conditions may also produce symptoms mimicking that of myocardial ischemia. These conditions include gastrointestinal tract disorders, such as esophageal spasm, esophagitis, hiatal hernia, biliary tract disease, gastritis, peptic ulcer, and pancreatitis, and musculoskeletal syndromes, such as chest wall muscle spasm, chest wall syndrome (especially after coronary bypass surgery), costochondritis, and cervical or dorsal arthritis. Hyperventilation may also mimic ischemic discomfort. Such disorders should be considered before concluding that chest discomfort is of myocardial ischemic origin.

4. Peripheral Arterial Disease

The level of impairment is based on the symptomatology, physical findings, Doppler studies before and after a standard exercise test, or angiographic findings.

The requirements for evaluating peripheral arterial disease in 4.12B are based on the ratio of the systolic blood pressure at the ankle to the systolic blood pressure at the brachial artery, determined in the supine position at the same time. Techniques for obtaining ankle systolic blood pressures include Doppler, plethysmographic studies, or other techniques.

Listing 4.12B1 is met when the resting ankle/brachial systolic blood pressure ratio is less than 0.50. Listing 4.12B2 provides additional criteria for evaluating peripheral arterial impairment on the basis of exercise studies when the resting ankle/brachial systolic blood pressure ratio is 0.50 or above. The decision to obtain exercise studies should be based on an evaluation of the existing clinical evidence, but exercise studies are rarely warranted when the resting ankle-over-brachial systolic blood pressure ratio is 0.80 or above. The results of exercise studies should describe the level of exercise, e.g., speed and grade of the treadmill settings, the duration of exercise, symptoms during exercise, the reasons for stopping exercise if the expected level of exercise was not attained, blood pressures at the ankle and other pertinent sites measured after exercise, and the time required to return the systolic blood pressure toward or to the pre-exercise level. When an exercise Doppler study is purchased by the Social Security Administration, the requested exercise must be on a treadmill at 2 mph on a 10 or 12 percent grade for 5 minutes. Exercise studies should not be performed on individuals for whom exercise poses a significant risk.

Application of the criteria in 4.12B may be limited in individuals who have marked calcific (Monckeberg's) sclerosis of the peripheral arteries or marked small vessel disease associated with diabetes mellitus.

4.01 Category of Impairments, Cardiovascular System

4.02 Chronic heart failure while on a regimen of prescribed treatment (see 4.00A if there is no regimen of prescribed treatment). With one of the following:

A. Documented cardiac enlargement by appropriate imaging techniques (e.g., a cardiothoracic ratio of greater than 0.50 on a PA chest x-ray with good inspiratory effort or left ventricular diastolic diameter of greater than 5.5 cm on two-dimensional echocardiography), resulting in inability to carry on any physical activity, and with symptoms of inadequate cardiac output, pulmonary congestion, systemic congestion, or anginal syndrome at rest (e.g., recurrent or persistent fatigue, dyspnea, orthopnea, anginal discomfort);

OR

B. Documented cardiac enlargement by appropriate imaging techniques (see 4.02A) or ventricular dysfunction manifested by S3, abnormal wall motion, or left ventricular ejection fraction of 30 percent or less by appropriate imaging techniques; and

1. Inability to perform on an exercise test at a workload equivalent to 5 METs or less due to symptoms of chronic heart failure, or, in rare instances, a need to stop exercise testing at less than this level of work because of:

a. Three or more consecutive ventricular premature beats or three or more multiform beats; or

b. Failure to increase systolic blood pressure by 10 mmHg, or decrease in systolic pressure below the usual resting level (see 4.00C2b); or

c. Signs attributable to inadequate cerebral perfusion, such as ataxic gait or mental confusion; and

2. Resulting in marked limitation of physical activity, as demonstrated by fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea, or anginal discomfort on ordinary physical activity, even though the individual is comfortable at rest;

OR

C. Cor pulmonale fulfilling the criteria in 4.02A or B.

4.03 Hypertensive cardiovascular disease. Evaluate under 4.02 or 4.04, or under the criteria for the affected body system (2.02 through 2.04, 6.02, or 11.04A or B).

4.04 Ischemic heart disease, with chest discomfort associated with myocardial ischemia, as described in 4.00E3, while on a regimen of prescribed treatment (see 4.00A if there is no regimen of prescribed treatment). With one of the following:

A. Sign- or symptom-limited exercise test demonstrating at least one of the following manifestations at a workload equivalent to 5 METs or less:

1. Horizontal or downsloping depression, in the absence of digitalis glycoside therapy and/or hypokalemia, of the ST segment of at least -0.10 millivolts (-1.0 mm) in at least 3 consecutive complexes that are on a level baseline in any lead (other than aVR) and that have a typical ischemic time course of development and resolution (progression of horizontal or downsloping ST depression with exercise, and persistence of depression of at least -0.10 millivolts for at least 1 minute of recovery); or

2. An upsloping ST junction depression, in the absence of digitalis glycoside therapy and/or hypokalemia, in any lead (except aVR) of at least -0.2 millivolts or more for at least 0.08 seconds after the J junction and persisting for at least 1 minute of recovery; or

3. At least 0.1 millivolt (1 mm) ST elevation above resting baseline during both exercise and 3 or more minutes of recovery in ECG leads with low R and T waves in the leads demonstrating the ST segment displacement; or

4. Failure to increase systolic pressure by 10 mmHg, or decrease in systolic pressure below usual clinical resting level (see 4.00C2b); or

5. Documented reversible radionuclide "perfusion" (thallium[201]) defect at an exercise level equivalent to 5 METs or less;

OR

B. Impaired myocardial function, documented by evidence (as outlined under 4.00C3 or 4.00C4b) of hypokinetic, akinetic, or dyskinetic myocardial free wall or septal wall motion with left ventricular ejection fraction of 30 percent or less, and an evaluating program physician, preferably one experienced in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease, has concluded that performance of exercise testing would present a significant risk to the individual, and resulting in marked limitation of physical activity, as demonstrated by fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea, or anginal discomfort on ordinary physical activity, even though the individual is comfortable at rest;

OR

C. Coronary artery disease, demonstrated by angiography (obtained independent of Social Security disability evaluation), and an evaluating program physician, preferably one experienced in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease, has concluded that performance of exercise testing would present a significant risk to the individual, with both 1 and 2:

1. Angiographic evidence revealing:

a. 50 percent or more narrowing of a nonbypassed left main coronary artery; or

b. 70 percent or more narrowing of another nonbypassed coronary artery; or

c. 50 percent or more narrowing involving a long (greater than 1 cm) segment of a nonbypassed coronary artery; or

d. 50 percent or more narrowing of at least 2 nonbypassed coronary arteries; or

e. Total obstruction of a bypass graft vessel; and

2. Resulting in marked limitation of physical activity, as demonstrated by fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea, or anginal discomfort on ordinary physical activity, even though the individual is comfortable at rest.

4.05 Recurrent arrhythmias, not related to reversible causes such as electrolyte abnormalities or digitalis glycoside or antiarrhythmic drug toxicity, resulting in uncontrolled repeated episodes of cardiac syncope or near syncope and arrhythmia despite prescribed treatment (see 4.00A if there is no prescribed treatment), documented by resting or ambulatory (Holter) electrocardiography coincident with the occurrence of syncope or near syncope.

4.06 Symptomatic congenital heart disease (cyanotic or acyanotic), documented by appropriate imaging techniques (as outlined under 4.00C3) or cardiac catheterization. With one of the following:

A. Cyanosis at rest, and:

1. Hematocrit of 55 percent or greater, or

2. Arterial O2 saturation of less than 90 percent in room air, or resting arterial PO2 of 60 Torr or less;

OR

B. Intermittent right-to-left shunting resulting in cyanosis on exertion (e.g., Eisenmenger's physiology) and with arterial PO2 of 60 Torr or less at a workload equivalent to 5 METs or less;

OR

C. Chronic heart failure with evidence of ventricular dysfunction, as described in 4.02;

OR

D. Recurrent arrhythmias as described in 4.05;

OR

E. Secondary pulmonary vascular obstructive disease with a mean pulmonary arterial pressure elevated to at least 70 percent of the mean systemic arterial pressure.

4.07 Valvular heart disease or other stenotic defects, or valvular regurgitation, documented by appropriate imaging techniques or cardiac catheterization. Evaluate under the criteria in 4.02, 4.04, 4.05, or 11.04.

4.08 Cardiomyopathies, documented by appropriate imaging techniques or cardiac catheterization. Evaluate under the criteria in 4.02, 4.04, 4.05, or 11.04.

4.09 Cardiac transplantation. Consider under a disability for 1 year following surgery; thereafter, reevaluate residual impairment under 4.02 to 4.08.

4.10 Aneurysm of aorta or major branches, due to any cause (e.g., atherosclerosis, cystic medial necrosis, Marfan syndrome, trauma), demonstrated by an appropriate imaging technique. With one of the following:

A. Acute or chronic dissection not controlled by prescribed medical or surgical treatment;

OR

B. Chronic heart failure as described under 4.02;

OR

C. Renal failure as described under 6.02;

OR

D. Neurological complications as described under 11.04.

4.11 Chronic venous insufficiency of a lower extremity. With incompetency or obstruction of the deep venous system and one of the following:

A. Extensive brawny edema;

OR

B. Superficial varicosities, stasis dermatitis, and recurrent or persistent ulceration which has not healed following at least 3 months of prescribed medical or surgical therapy.

4.12 Peripheral arterial disease. With one of the following:

A. Intermittent claudication with failure to visualize (on arteriogram obtained independent of Social Security disability evaluation) the common femoral or deep femoral artery in one extremity;

OR

B. Intermittent claudication with marked impairment of peripheral arterial circulation as determined by Doppler studies showing:

1. Resting ankle/brachial systolic blood pressure ratio of less than 0.50; or

2. Decrease in systolic blood pressure at the ankle on exercise (see 4.00E4) of 50 percent or more of pre-exercise level at the ankle, and requiring 10 minutes or more to return to pre-exercise level;

OR

C. Amputation at or above the tarsal region due to peripheral vascular disease.

5.00 Digestive System

A. Disorders of the digestive system which result in a marked impairment usually do so because of interference with nutrition, multiple recurrent inflammatory lesions, or complications of disease, such as fistulae, abscesses, or recurrent obstruction. Such complications usually respond to treatment. These complications must be shown to persist on repeated examinations despite therapy for a reasonable presumption to be made that a marked impairment will last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.

B. Malnutrition or weight loss from gastrointestinal disorders. When the primary disorder of the digestive tract has been established (e.g. enterocolitis, chronic pancreatitis, postgastrointestinal resection, or esophageal stricture, stenosis, or obstruction), the resultant interference with nutrition will be considered under the criteria in 5.08. This will apply whether the weight loss is due to primary or secondary disorders of malabsorption, malassimilation or obstruction. However, weight loss not due to diseases of the digestive tract, but associated with psychiatric or primary endocrine or other disorders, should be evaluated under the appropriate criteria for the underlying disorder.

C. Surgical diversion of the intestinal tract, including colostomy or ileostomy, are not listed since they do not represent impairments which preclude all work activity if the individual is able to maintain adequate nutrition and function of the stoma. Dumping syndrome which may follow gastric resection rarely represents a marked impairment which would continue for 12 months. Peptic ulcer disease with recurrent ulceration after definitive surgery ordinarily responds to treatment. A recurrent ulcer after definitive surgery must be demonstrated on repeated upper gastrointestinal roentgenograms or gastroscopic examinations despite therapy to be considered a severe impairmentich will last for at least 12 months. Definitive surgical procedures are those designed to control the ulcer disease process (i.e., vagotomy and pyloroplasty, subtotal gastrectomy, etc.). Simple closure of a perforated ulcer does not constitute definitive surgical therapy for peptic ulcer disease.

5.01 Category of Impairments, Digestive System

5.02 Recurrent upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage from undetermined cause with anemia manifested by hematocrit of 30 percent or less on repeated examinations.

5.03 Stricture, stenosis, or obstruction of the esophagus (demonstrated by X-ray or endoscopy) with weight loss as described under §5.08.

5.04 Peptic ulcer disease (demonstrated by X-ray or endoscopy). With:

A. Recurrent ulceration after definitive surgery persistent despite therapy; or

B. Inoperable fistula formation; or

C. Recurrent obstruction demonstrated by X-ray or endoscopy. or

D. Weight loss as described under §5.08.

5.05 Chronic liver disease (e.g., portal, postnecrotic, or biliary cirrhosis; chronic active hepatitis; Wilson's disease). With:

A. Esophageal varices (demonstrated by X-ray or endoscopy) with a documented history of massive hemorrhage attributable to these varices. Consider under a disability for 3 years following the last massive hemorrhage; thereafter, evaluate the residual impairment; or

B. Performance of a shunt operation for esophageal varices. Consider under a disability for 3 years following surgery; thereafter, evaluate the residual impairment; or

C. Serum bilirubin of 2.5 mg. per deciliter (100 ml.) or greater persisting on repeated examinations for at least 5 months; or

D. Ascites, not attributable to other causes, recurrent or persisting for at least 5 months, demonstrated by abdominal paracentesis or associated with persistent hypoalbuminemia of 3.0 gm. per deciliter (100 ml.) or less; or

E. Hepatic encephalopathy. Evaluate under the criteria in listing 12.02; or

F. Confirmation of chronic liver disease by liver biopsy (obtained independent of Social Security disability evaluation) and one of the following:

1. Ascites not attributable to other causes, recurrent or persisting for at least 3 months, demonstrated by abdominal paracentesis or associated with persistent hypoalbuminemia of 3.0 gm. per deciliter (100 ml.) or less; or

2. Serum bilirubin of 2.5 mg. per deciliter (100 ml) or greater on repeated examinations for at least 3 months; or

3. Hepatic cell necrosis or inflammation, persisting for at least 3 months, documented by repeated abnormalities of prothrombin time and enzymes indicative of hepatic dysfunction.

5.06 Chronic ulcerative or granulomatous colitis (demonstrated by endoscopy, barium enema, biopsy, or operative findings). With:

A. Recurrent bloody stools documented on repeated examinations and anemia manifested by hematocrit of 30 percent or less on repeated examinations; or

B. Persistent or recurrent systemic manifestations, such as arthritis, iritis, fever, or liver dysfunction, not attributable to other causes; or

C. Intermittent obstruction due to intractable abscess, fistula formation, or stenosis; or

D. Recurrence of findings of A, B, or C above after total colectomy; or

E. Weight loss as described under §5.08.

5.07 Regional enteritis (demonstrated by operative findings, barium studies, biopsy, or endoscopy). With:

A. Persistent or recurrent intestinal obstruction evidenced by abdominal pain, distention, nausea, and vomiting and accompanied by stenotic areas of small bowel with proximal intestinal dilation; or

B. Persistent or recurrent systemic manifestations such as arthritis, iritis, fever, or liver dysfunction, not attributable to other causes; or

C. Intermittent obstruction due to intractable abscess or fistula formation; or

D. Weight loss as described under §5.08.

5.08 Weight loss due to any persisting gastrointestinal disorder: (The following weights are to be demonstrated to have persisted for at least 3 months despite prescribed therapy and expected to persist at this level for at least 12 months.) With:

A. Weight equal to or less than the values specified in table I or II; or

B. Weight equal to or less than the values specified in table III or IV and one of the following abnormal findings on repeated examinations:

1. Serum albumin of 3.0 gm. per deciliter (100 ml.) or less; or

2. Hematocrit of 30 percent or less; or

3. Serum calcium of 8.0 mg. per deciliter (100 ml.) (4.0 mEq./L) or less; or

4. Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus due to pancreatic dysfunction with repeated hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, or ketosis; or

5. Fat in stool of 7 gm. or greater per 24-hour stool specimen; or

6. Nitrogen in stool of 3 gm, or greater per 24-hour specimen; or

7. Persistent or recurrent ascites or edema not attributable to other causes.

Tables of weight reflecting malnutrition scaled according to height and sex--To be used only in connection with 5.08.

Table I--Men

Height (inches)[1]

Weight (pounds)

61

90

62

92

63

94

64

97

65

99

66

102

67

106

68

109

69

112

70

115

71

118

72

122

73

125

74

128

75

131

76

134

[1]Height measured without shoes.

Table II--Women

Height (inches)[1]

Weight (pounds)

58

77

59

79

60

82

61

84

62

86

63

89

64

91

65

94

66

98

67

101

68

104

69

107

70

110

71

114

72

117

73

120

[1]Height measured without shoes.

Table III--Men

Height (inches)[1]

Weight (pounds)

61

95

62

98

63

100

64

103

65

106

66

109

67

112

68

116

69

119

70

122

71

126

72

129

73

133

74

136

75

139

76

143

[1]Height measured without shoes.

Table IV--Women

Height (inches)[1]

Weight (pounds)

58

82

59

84

60

87

61

89

62

92

63

94

64

97

65

100

66

104

67

107

68

111

69

114

70

117

71

121

72

124

73

128

[1]Height measured without shoes.

6.00 Genito-Urinary System

A. Determination of the presence of chronic renal disease will be based upon (1) a history, physical examination, and laboratory evidence of renal disease, and (2) indications of its progressive nature or laboratory evidence of deterioration of renal function.

B. Nephrotic Syndrome. The medical evidence establishing the clinical diagnosis must include the description of extent of tissue edema, including pretibial, periorbital, or presacral edema. The presence of ascites, pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, and hydroarthrosis should be described if present. Results of pertinent laboratory tests must be provided. If a renal biopsy has been performed, the evidence should include a copy of the report of microscopic examination of the specimen. Complications such as severe orthostatic hypotension, recurrent infections or venous thromboses should be evaluated on the basis of resultant impairment.

C. Hemodialysis, peritioneal dialysis, and kidney transplantation. When an individual is undergoing periodic dialysis because of chronic renal disease, severity of impairment is reflected by the renal function prior to the institution of dialysis.

The amount of function restored and the time required to effect improvement in an individual treated by renal transplant depend upon various factors, including adequacy of post transplant renal function, incidence and severity of renal infection, occurrence of rejection crisis, the presence of systemic complications (anemia, neunropathy, etc.) and side effects of corticosteroids or immuno-suppressive agents. A convalesent period of at least 12 months is required before it can be reasonably determined whether the individual has reached a point of stable medical improvement.

D. Evaluate associated disorders and complications according to the appropriate body system Listing.

6.01 Category of Impairments, Genito-Urinary System

6.02 Impairment of renal function, due to any chronic renal disease expected to last 12 months (e.g., hypertensive vascular disease, chronic nephritis, nephrolithiasis, polycystic disease, bilateral hydronephrosis, etc.) With:

A. Chronic hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis necessitated by irreversible renal failure; or

B. Kidney transplant. Consider under a disability for 12 months following surgery; thereafter, evaluate the residual impairment (see 6.00C); or

C. Persistent elevation of serum creatine in to 4 mg. per deciliter (100 ml.) or greater or reduction of creatinine clearance to 20 ml. per minute (29 liters/24 hours) or less, over at least 3 months, with one of the following:

1. Renal osteodystrophy manifested by severe bone pain and appropriate radiographic abnormalities (e.g., osteitis fibrosa, marked osteoporosis, pathologic fractures); or

2. A clinical episode of pericarditis; or

3. Persistent motor or sensory neuropathy; or

4. Intractable pruritus; or

5. Persistent fluid overload syndrome resulting in diastolic hypertension (110 mm. or above) or signs of vascular congestion; or

6. Persistent anorexia with recent weight loss and current weight meeting the values in 5.08, table III or IV; or

7. Persistent hematocrits of 30 percent or less.

6.06 Nephrotic syndrome, with significant anasarca, persistent for at least 3 months despite prescribed therapy. With:

A. Serum albumin of 3.0 gm. per deciler (100 ml.) or less and protenuria of 3.5 gm. per 24 hours or greater; or

B. Proteinuria of 10.0 gm. per 24 hours or greater.

7.00 Hemic and Lymphatic System

A. Impairment caused by anemia should be evaluated according to the ability of the individual to adjust to the reduced oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. A gradual reduction in red cell mass, even to very low values, is often well tolerated in individuals with a healthy cardiovascular system.

B. Chronicity is indicated by persistence of the condition for at least 3 months. The laboratory findings cited must reflect the values reported on more than one examination over that 3-month period.

C. Sickle cell disease refers to a chronic hemolytic anemia associated with sickle cell hemoglobin, either homozygous or in combination with thalassemia or with another abnormal hemoglobin (such as C or F).

Appropriate hematologic evidence for sickle cell disease, such as hemoglobin electrophoresis, must be included. Vasoocclusive or aplastic episodes should be documented by description of severity, frequency, and duration.

Major visceral episodes include meningitis, osteomyelitis, pulmonary infections or infarctions, cerebrovascular accidents, congestive heart failure, genito-urinary involvement, etc.

D. Coagulation defects. Chronic inherited coagulation disorders must be documented by appropriate laboratory evidence. Prophylactic therapy such as with antihemophilic globulin (AHG) concentrate does not in itself imply severity.

E. Acute leukemia. Initial diagnosis of acute leukemia must be based upon definitive bone marrow pathologic evidence. Recurrent disease may be documented by peripheral blood, bone marrow, or cerebrospinal fluid examination. The pathology report must be included.

The acute phase of chronic myelocytic (granulocytic) leukemia should be considered under the requirements for acute leukemia.

The criteria in 7.11 contain the designated duration of disability implicit in the finding of a listed impairment. Following the designated time period, a documented diagnosis itself is no longer sufficient to establish a marked impairment. The level of any remaining impairment must be evaluated on the basis of the medical evidence.

7.01 Category of Impairments, Hemic and Lymphatic System

7.02 Chronic anemia (hematocrit persisting at 30 percent or less due to any cause). With:

A. Requirement of one or more blood transfusions on an average of at least once every 2 months; or

B. Evaluation of the resulting impairment under criteria for the affected body system.

7.05 Sickle cell disease, or one of its variants. With:

A. Documented painful (thrombotic) crises occurring at least three times during the 5 months prior to adjudication; or

B. Requiring extended hospitalization (beyond emergency care) at least three times during the 12 months prior to adjudication; or

C. Chronic, severe anemia with persistence of hematocrit of 26 percent or less; or

D. Evaluate the resulting impairment under the criteria for the affected body system.

7.06 Chronic thrombocytopenia (due to any cause) with platelet counts repeatedly below 40,000/cubic millimeter. With:

A. At least one spontaneous hemorrhage, requiring transfusion, within 5 months prior to adjudication; or

B. Intracranial bleeding within 12 months prior to adjudication.

7.07 Hereditary telangiectasia with hemorrhage requiring transfusion at least three times during the 5 months prior to adjudication.

7.08 Coagulation defects (hemophilia or a similar disorder) with spontaneous hemorrhage requiring transfusion at least three times during the 5 months prior to adjudication.

7.09 Polycythemia vera (with erythrocytosis, splenomegaly, and leukocytosis or thrombocytosis). Evaluate the resulting impairment under the criteria for the affected body system.

7.10 Myelofibrosis (myeloproliferative syndrome). With:

A. Chronic anemia. Evaluate according to the criteria of §7.02; or

B. Documented recurrent systemic bacterial infections occurring at least 3 times during the 5 months prior to adjudication; or

C. Intractable bone pain with radiologic evidence of osteosclerosis.

7.11 Acute leukemia. Consider under a disability for 2_ years from the time of initial diagnosis.

7.12 Chronic leukemia. Evaluate according to the criteria of 7.02, 7.06, 7.10B, 7.11, 7.17, or 13.06A.

7.13 Lymphomas. Evaluate under the criteria in 13.06A.

7.14 Macroglobulinemia or heavy chain disease, confirmed by serum or urine protein electrophoresis or immunoelectrophoresias. Evaluate impairment under criteria for affected body system or under 7.02, 7.06, or 7.08.

7.15 Chronic granulocytopenia (due to any cause). With both A and B:

A. Absolute neutrophil counts repeatedly below 1,000 cells/cubic millimeter; and

B. Documented recurrent systemic bacterial infections occurring at least 3 times during the 5 months prior to adjudication.

7.16 Myeloma (confirmed by appropriate serum or urine protein electrophoresis and bone marrow findings). With:

A. Radiologic evidence of bony involvement with intractable bone pain; or

B. Evidence of renal impairment as described in 6.02; or

C. Hypercalcemia with serum calcium levels persistently greater than 11 mg. per deciliter (100 ml.) for at least 1 month despite prescribed therapy; or

D. Plasma cells (100 or more cells/cubic millimeter) in the peripheral blood.

7.17 Aplastic anemias or hematologic malignancies (excluding acute leukemia): With bone marrow transplantation. Consider under a disability for 12 months following transplantation; thereafter, evaluate according to the primary characteristics of the residual impairment.

8.00 Skin

A. Skin lesions may result in a marked, long-lasting impairment if they involve extensive body areas or critical areas such as the hands or feet and become resistant to treatment. These lesions must be shown to have persisted for a sufficient period of time despite therapy for a reasonable presumption to be made that a marked impairment will last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. The treatment for some of the skin diseases listed in this section may require the use of high dosage of drugs with possible serious side effects; these side effects should be considered in the overall evaluation of impairment.

B. When skin lesions are associated with systemic disease and where that is the predominant problems, evaluation should occur according to the criteria in the appropriate section. Disseminated (systemic) lupus erythematosus and scleroderma usually involve more than one body system and should be evaluated under 14.02 and 14.04. Neoplastic skin lesions should be evaluated under 13.00ff. When skin lesions (including burns) are associated with contractures or limitation of joint motion, that impairment should be evaluated under 1.00ff.

8.01 Category of Impairments, Skin

8.02 Exfoliative dermatitis, ichthyosis, ichthyosiform erythroderma. With extensive lesions not responding to prescribed treatment.

8.03 Pemphigus, erythema multiforme bullosum, bullous pemphigoid, dermatitis herpetiformis. With extensive lesions not responding to prescribed treatment.

8.04 Deep mycotic infections. With extensive fungating, ulcerating lesions not responding to prescribed treatment.

8.05 Psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, dyshidrosis. With extensive lesions, including involvement of the hands or feet which impose a marked limitation of function and which are not responding to prescribed treatment.

8.06 Hydradenitis suppurative, acne conglobata. With extensive lesions involving the axillae or perineum not responding to prescribed medical treatment and not amendable to surgical treatment.

9.00 Endocrine System and Obesity

Cause of impairment. Impairment is caused by overproduction or underproduction of hormones, resulting in structural or functional changes in the body. Where involvement of other organ systems has occurred as a result of a primary endocrine disorder, these impairments should be evaluated according to the criteria under the appropriate sections.

Long-term massive obesity will usually be associated with disorders of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, peripheral vascular, and pulmonary systems, and the occurrence of these disorders is the major cause of disability at the listing level. Extreme obesity results in restrictions imposed by body weight and the additional restrictions imposed by disturbances in other body systems.

The weight-bearing criterion in 9.09A refers to the lumbosacral spine. The cervical and thoracic spines are not considered weight-bearing.

9.01 Category of Impairments, Endocrine System and Obesity

9.02 Thyroid Disorders. With:

A. Progressive exophthalmos as measured by exophthalmometry; or

B. Evaluate the resulting impairment under the criteria for the affected body system.

9.03 Hyperparathyroidism. With:

A. Generalized decalcification of bone on X-ray study and elevation of plasma calcium to 11 mg. per deciliter (100 ml.) or greater; or

B. A resulting impairment. Evaluate according to the criteria in the affected body system.

9.04 Hypoparathyroidism. With:

A. Severe recurrent tetany; or

B. Recurrent generalized convulsions; or

C. Lenticular cataracts. Evaluate under the criteria in 2.00ff.

9.05 Neurohypophyseal insufficiency (diabetes insipidus). With urine specific gravity of 1.005 or below, persistent for at least 3 months and recurrent dehydration.

9.06 Hyperfunction of the adrenal cortex. Evaluate the resulting impairment under the criteria for the affected body system.

9.08 Diabetes mellitus. With:

A. Neuropathy demonstrated by significant and persistent disorganization of motor function in two extremities resulting in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station (see 11.00C); or

B. Acidosis occurring at least on the average of once every 2 months documented by appropriate blood chemical tests (pH or PCO2 or bicarbonate levels); or

C. Amputation at, or above, the tarsal region due to diabetic necrosis or peripheral arterial disease; or

D. Retinitis proliferans; evaluate the visual impairment under the criteria in 2.02, 2.03, or 2.04.

9.09 Obesity. Weight equal to or greater than the values specified in table I for males, table II for females (100 percent above desired level), and one of the following:

A. History of pain and limitation of motion in any weight-bearing joint or the lumbosacral spine (on physical examination) associated with findings on medically acceptable imaging techniques of arthritis in the affected joint or lumbosacral spine; or

B. Hypertension with diastolic blood pressure persistently in excess of 100 mm. Hg measured with appropriate size cuff; or

C. History of congestive heart failure manifested by past evidence of vascular congestion such as hepatomegaly, peripheral or pulmonary edema; or

D. Chronic venous insufficiency with superficial varicosities in a lower extremity with pain on weight bearing and persistent edema; or

E. Respiratory disease with total forced vital capacity equal to or less than 2.0 L. or a level of hypoxemia at rest equal to or less than the values specified in table III-A or III-B or III-C.

Table I--Men
[Metric]

Height without shoes (centimeters)

Weight (kilograms)

152

112

155

115

157

117

160

120

163

123

165

125

168

129

170

134

173

137

175

141

178

145

180

149

183

153

185

157

188

162

190

165

193

170

Table I--Men

Height without shoes (inches)

Weight (pounds)

60

246

61

252

62

258

63

264

64

270

65

276

66

284

67

294

68

302

69

310

70

318

71

328

72

336

73

346

74

356

75

364

76

374

Table II--Women
[Metric]

Height without shoes (centimeters)

Weight (kilograms)

142

95

145

96

147

99

150

102

152

105

155

107

157

110

160

114

163

117

165

121

168

125

170

128

173

132

175

135

178

139

180

143

183

146

Table II--Women

Height without shoes (inches)

Weight (pounds)

56

208

57

212

58

218

59

224

60

230

61

236

62

242

63

250

64

258

65

266

66

274

67

282

68

290

69

298

70

306

71

314

72

322

Table III--A
[Applicable at test sites less than 3,000 feet above sea level]

Arterial PCO2 (mm. Hg) and

Arterial PO2 equal to or less than (mm. Hg)

30 or below

65

31

64

32

63

33

62

34

61

35

60

36

59

37

58

38

57

39

56

40 or above

55

Table III--B
[Applicable at test sites 3,000 through 6,000 feet above sea level]

Arterial PCO2 (mm. Hg) and

Arterial PO2 equal to or less than (mm. Hg)

30 or below

60

31

59

32

58

33

57

34

56

35

55

36

54

37

53

38

52

39

51

40 or above

50

Table III--C
[Applicable at test sites over 6,000 feet above sea level]

Arterial PCO2 (mm. Hg) and

Arterial PO2 equal to or less than (mm. Hg)

30 or below

55

31

54

32

53

33

52

34

51

35

50

36

49

37

48

38

47

39

46

40 or above

45

10.00 [Reserved]