My standard statement for Social Security Disability applicants is “This is a legal process, with medical as evidence to prove whether you can work 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. Without medical evidence, it is impossible or nearly impossible to prove you are disabled.”
Social Security requires medical evidence to establish the applicant (or Claimant) has an impairment and the severity of the impairment. Social Security wants to know how long the claimant has experienced the impairment and if the claimant can still do work with their physical and mental activities with the impairment. The impairment must last or appear to last 12 full months.
When people call me to talk about their disability, I ask, “Have you told your doctor.” Surprisingly, many times, the answer is no. My response is, “You can tell me all day about what your disabling condition is but unless you tell your doctor, it means nothing.” Be detailed in your description of what is happening in your body. Take a list of symptoms such a fatigue, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating etc. Tell your doctor so it will be in the chart notes, doctors are required to provide documentation about you condition.
Who are acceptable medical sources?
- Licensed physicians (medical or osteopathic doctors) and licensed or certified psychologists at the independent practice level.
- School psychologists, or other licensed or certified individuals with other titles who perform the same function as a school psychologist in a school setting, are AMSs for impairments of intellectual disability, learning disabilities, and borderline intellectual functioning only.
- Licensed optometrists for impairments of visual disorders, or measurement of visual acuity and visual fields only, depending on the scope of practice in the State in which the optometrist practices.
- Licensed podiatrists for impairments of the foot, or foot and ankle only, depending on whether the State in which the podiatrist practices permits the practice of podiatry on the foot only, or the foot and ankle.
- Qualified speech-language pathologists (SLPs) for speech or language impairments only. For this source, “qualified” means that the SLP must be licensed by the State professional licensing agency, or be fully certified by the State education agency in the State that he or she practices, or hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language-Pathology from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.
- In claims with a filing date on or after March 27, 2017, licensed physician assistants for impairments within the licensed scope of practice only.
- In claims with a filing date on or after March 27, 2017, licensed audiologists for impairments of hearing loss, auditory processing disorders, and balance disorders within the licensed scope of practice only. NOTE: Audiologists’ scope of practice generally includes evaluation, examination, and treatment of certain balance impairments that result from the audio-vestibular system. However, some impairments involving balance involve several different body systems that are outside the scope of practice for audiologists, such as those involving muscles, bones, joints, vision, nerves, heart and blood vessels
- Licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), also known in some States as Advanced Practice Nurse (APN), and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) for impairments within his or her licensed scope of practice.
Complete medical evidence provided by medical practitioners is vital to proving your disability.
Non-medical sources such as:
- Educational personnel (for example, school teachers, counselors, early intervention team members, developmental center workers, and daycare center workers);
- Public and private social welfare agency personnel; and
- Relatives (spouses, parents, siblings, etc.), caregivers, friends, neighbors, past employers, and clergy.
This medical evidence will be essential when the case goes to hearing.
For more details on medical and non-medical sources you can visit https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/greenbook/ce-evidence.htm.
Having a complete medical history is vital to your case being approved. Your medical tests such as x-rays, MRI’s, labs and counseling help create a picture of your medical condition and how it affects you on a daily basis. We at Mission Possible are here to walk you through the steps and help you with a successful disability award.