Monday, March 30, 2009

What Do Your Medical Records Have to Say for Social Security to Consider that You have a Disabling Condition?

Social Security considers medical records from acceptable medical sources when making their disability decisions.

Social Security views medical records from licensed physicians, certified psychologists, and licensed optometrists to be acceptable medical treatment sources. Additionally, Social Security obtains medical records from hospitals, clinics, or other treatment facilities where an individual has been treated. Social Security values medical treatment records from an individual’s treating medical professionals because it provides a better longitudinal view of an individual's impairments and how these impairments affect the individuals ability to perform routine daily activities.

If your treating physician provides a medical report (statement) to Social Security, it may be very helpful to your chances of winning your disability claim.

Social Security needs the following evidence to be included in the statement. There needs to be an up to date medical history, objective clinical results (physicals and mental status evaluations), laboratory results (x-rays, blood tests, CT scans, MRIs, etc.), a clear diagnosis, treatment methods and treatment response, along with a prognosis.

Additionally, Social Security would like for your treating medical professional to give an opinion as to what they feel you are able to do in spite of the limitations caused by your impairment (Social Security calls this your residual functional capacity). This statement should explain the effect your condition(s) or impairment(s) has on your ability to perform work activities, like walking, standing, lifting, carrying, fine motor activities, hearing, seeing, or even driving or traveling.

If your disability claim involves mental treatment sources, their statements should describe an individual’s ability to respond to the pressures of a work environment, the ability to understand and remember instructions, and the ability to respond to coworkers and supervisors in an appropriate manner.

The above information is what Social Security would like to find in your medical records. If your medical records illustrate that your physical or mental residual functional capacity is so restrictive that you are unable to perform simple routine repetitive tasks in a work environment, Social Security is likely to consider that you have a disabling condition that may meet the criteria for awarding disability benefits.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Other Posts

Tips for Filling out a Social Security Disability Application
SSD Application Filing Tips
Social Security Disability Applications - A Resource List
SSI Application for Disability Benefits
Decisions on Disability Applications - Fully and Partially Favorable
Social Security Disability Criteria
Decision for Social Security Disability — How long must I wait?



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