Your doctor’s records can make or break your Social Security Disability claim. I am always asked whether a Social Security Disability applicant should get a letter from their physician in support of their claim. Well, often letters that doctors will submit will say “Ms. Jones is unable to work as a result of her disease and should be considered for Social Security Disability benefits”.
The statement that “my patient is disabled and unable to work” is worthless and useless. The Social Security Administration is looking at your doctor’s records to determine your physical residual functional capacity. In laments terms, that’s the level of your physical functioning. The Social Security Administration will use the DOT, the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, for sedentary, light, medium and heavy work. The bottom line, and depending on your age, if you are capable of doing light work, you are not going to be found eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
It is important that you doctor address your physical capabilities in terms of the following functions:
Your doctor should also describe the range of motion in your joints, grip strengths and reflexes. You should also describe your strength level.
Your doctor needs to sum it all up by explaining how your symptoms impact your ability to perform work related functions and which activities, if any, you are unable to perform altogether.
Your doctor’s opinion should be supported by: test results, their observations and your statements of reported symptoms.
Experienced Social Security Disability attorneys like Clearwater Social Security Disability lawyers Cavey and Barrett will routinely send our clients treating physicians forms called residual functional capacity forms appropriate to our clients medical condition. This is a great form that doctors can complete which asks all the right questions. More importantly, the Social Security Administration will recognize and take into consideration your doctors opinion as expressed on the residual functional capacity form.