When applying for Social Security Disability benefits, one of the crucial aspects of your case is medical evidence. It is essential to see a doctor and obtain relevant medical documentation to support your disability claim. In this blog post, we will discuss why it is important to seek medical care and gather medical evidence for your Social Security Disability case.
Establishing a Medical Condition: (click here for the law) To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must have a medically determinable impairment that significantly affects your ability to work. Seeing a doctor allows for a proper diagnosis and documentation of your medical condition. Without medical evidence, it becomes challenging to establish the existence and severity of your impairment. YOU MUST HAVE RECENT MEDICAL TREATMENT (no longer than a 1 year gap of missed treatment - records from 5 years ago do not establish disability now and is insufficient.)
Objective Evaluation of Impairments: Medical evidence provides an objective evaluation of your impairments. Doctors use diagnostic tests, examinations, and clinical observations to assess the impact of your condition on your ability to function and work. This objective evaluation strengthens your case and provides credibility to your claim. (An MRI or other medical testing from 2 years ago again, will not prove disability now - Please make sure your testing is up-to-date.)
Medical Opinions: Medical evidence includes expert opinions from healthcare professionals who specialize in treating your specific condition. These opinions carry weight in the Social Security Disability evaluation process. They provide insights into the nature, severity, and expected duration of your disability, which helps in determining your eligibility for benefits. (See our Free Resources page to get a medical report form you doctor can complete - there is one for both physical and mental health - there is no obligation, these forms are FREE.)
Demonstrating Limitations and Restrictions: Medical evidence helps establish the limitations and restrictions imposed by your condition. It provides documentation of the functional impairments that affect your ability to perform work-related activities. This information is vital in demonstrating the impact of your disability on your capacity to work. (You will eventually have to complete a Function Report in which you will describe your Activities of Daily Living.)
Supporting Your Claim: The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires substantial evidence to support your disability claim. Medical records, test results, treatment history, and doctor's reports serve as objective documentation of your condition. These records demonstrate the progression of your impairment and its effect on your ability to work. (this is evidence must be more current than not)
Compliance with the SSA Requirements: The SSA has specific guidelines regarding the types of medical evidence required for evaluating disability claims. By seeking medical care and obtaining relevant documentation, you ensure compliance with these requirements. Failure to provide adequate medical evidence can result in delays or denials of your disability claim. (please make sure your condition has been diagnosed by a MD, Ph.D., DO, or APRN - other professionals will not meet the requirements for an acceptable medical source - click here for the law)
Enhancing Credibility: Medical evidence enhances the credibility of your disability claim. It demonstrates that you have actively sought medical attention and followed prescribed treatments, which strengthens your case. It also helps to counter any doubts or skepticism that may arise during the evaluation process. (make sure you report all of your symptoms all of the time, consistently and that the doctor is putting your specific reports of symptoms IN THE RECORD!)
Seeing a doctor and gathering medical evidence are critical steps in the Social Security Disability application process. Medical evidence establishes the existence and severity of your impairment, provides an objective evaluation, and supports your claim with expert opinions. It demonstrates the limitations and restrictions imposed by your condition and enhances the credibility of your case. By ensuring compliance with the SSA requirements and actively seeking medical care, you increase your chances of a successful outcome in your Social Security Disability case.
©2023 Noel Anschutz / Professional Advocates, Inc.