Evidence Social Security Uses to Evaluate and Resolve Disability Claims
When you file a claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA), you will be required to provide certain evidence that supports that you have a disability and demonstrate its level of severity.
Todd Renda of Renda Law is a disability attorney in Tacoma, WA with more than 35 years of experience helping people just like you gather the important evidence that will be critical to winning your case. At Renda Law we can advise you of the evidence you will need to substantiate your claim and help you obtain the benefits you need.
Here are some of the things you will need:
A Personal Statement
Your personal statement provides important details about your disability and the types of limitations that affect your ability to work. In your statement, you will need to describe in detail how your medical condition has prevented you from working at your most current job and at other jobs you have held previously. Make sure that your personal statement accurately reflects your limitations and includes an accurate date regarding when your impairment began.
You will need to complete a questionnaire that asks about your ability or inability to perform common daily activities, such as:
· Maintaining personal hygiene, like showering and brushing your teeth
· Running errands
· Managing money
· Sitting or standing for extended periods of time
Completing this questionnaire properly requires that you strike a balance between not overestimating your abilities and not exaggerating them. You should provide accurate details, such as the ability to perform a task with assistance. There may also be a difference between activities you can perform on a “good” day versus a “bad” day.
The medical records that you submit will be an integral part of the process. Your records should establish:
· A diagnosis of your medical condition
· The severity of your medical condition
· How long your impairment is expected to last
· Treatment that you have received for your impairment
· The effect of treatment on your impairment
· Any side effects that you have sustained due to the treatment
· How your impairment affects your activities of daily living
· Symptoms of your medical condition
· Test or imaging results
· How your impairment has changed over time
· Details regarding the severity of your condition or pain
You will also need to submit substantial evidence regarding your work history, education and job skills. Your vocational history may establish your eligibility for disability benefits. You may be required to provide the following type of information about your vocational history:
· The last job you worked
· The last several jobs you worked during the last 15 years
· The duties you worked for each job you previously held
· The dates of employment for the previous jobs you had
· The date your medical condition began to affect your ability to work
· Your highest level of education completed
· When you obtained your last educational certificate or degree
· Any on-the-job training or special certifications you received
Other Evidence the SSA May Request
SSA representatives may request additional information to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for disability benefits. One source of evidence often requested is a consultative examination. This exam is used solely to clarify information about your disability if your existing medical records are not considered, “sufficient.” This type of test can take on many forms, including an I.Q. test, physical examination or psychological test.
Need Help with Your Disability Claim?
If you are applying for disability benefits, Todd Renda is ready to help. Contact us today for your FREE consultation to discuss your unique situation.