If you have been reading this site, you already know the quick and dirty rule for winning Social Security disability. You have to show that you can’t do some type of full-time work. This is a simplification of the Social Security disability standard, but it is sufficient for this article. You think you have the evidence to prove that? If you just have your medical records, I’ll bet you don’t!
You see, your medical records may talk about your subjection complaints (your symptoms), the objective findings (examination and test results), your diagnosis and the treatment plan.
See anything there that SPELLS OUT if you can do full-time work? Not a “how could Social Security expect anyone to do work with these problems?” But, actually spells out if you can work? No, because it’s not there. And now we are at the crux of problem.
Most Social Security disability cases are missing a statement of limitations from YOUR doctor.
These statements go by different names:
- Medical Source Statement (this is the term Social Security uses).
- Medical Opinion.
- Statement of Limitations.
- Statement of Permanent Restrictions.
Whatever it is called, it tells Social Security what you can and cannot do. Social Security uses this to decide whether you are disabled.
Doesn’t Social Security get a statement of my limitations?
They do. But, chances are it will not help you.
If you are reading this, you probably have already been denied. This means Social Security has already reviewed your medical records and formulated a statement of limitations. Since they denied you, Social Security’s statement of limitations is probably not enough to prove you can’t work.
Even if you appeal, unless you have your own medically supported statement of limitations, you will probably be denied again.
Social Security has a statement of limitations saying you can still work and you have nothing to disprove it. Even if their statement is wrong, if you do not have your own statement of limitations, you are at a disadvantage.
Even if Social Security has not yet made a decision on your case, do you really want a Social Security technician who does not know you, or a Social Security doctor who has never examined you, deciding what your limitations are?
Do you want that to be the only statement of limitations Social Security has when they decide your case? Of course not.
Is it hopeless? Of course not!
You just need to make sure to get a medical source statement! If you are working with a lawyer, he or she can help you elicit a true and complete picture of your limitations from the people best qualified to say what you can and can’t do: your own doctors.
Remember, Social Security won’t do this for you and it isn’t just going to magically appear in your medical records. You have to get the form. Take it to your doctor to be completed. And then, submit it to Social Security.
You can do this! Now, get started!