Our disability attorneys know that there are specific criteria that must be met for you to be found disabled under the guidelines set forth by the SSA. You must have a medically determinable impairment as well as limitations that are severe enough to prevent you from working. For further information on what a medically determinable impairment is, refer to “Medically Determinable Impairments.” This article will concentrate on how important credibility is in establishing your limitations. It’s important to contact a Bosie Social Security attorney if you’re uncertain as to whether or not your limitations are severe enough to qualify for disability.
It’s important to find an attorney that specializes in disability because every lawyer doesn’t understand the intricacies of disability law. Attorneys requiring a retainer or intending to charge you a fee greater than 25% of your back payments aren’t the attorneys for you. Only contact disability lawyers with a valid license to practice law and avoid non-attorney representative. Always verify that anyone you contact is an actual disability lawyer. Some non-attorney representatives will do everything they can to avoid telling you they are not attorneys. A non-lawyer doesn’t have legal training, but they charge the same as a disability lawyer, so there is no reason for not hiring a licensed disability attorney.
HOW DOES SOCIAL SECURITY DETERMINE CREDIBILITY?
Credibility is a significant factor in your disability application. As a result, it is important to have a basic understanding of what factors the SSA considers when evaluating your credibility. Generally, these types of things are common sense, but you may accidentally do or say something that makes you appear less truthful if you don’t take a moment to think about it.
Credibility is essentially the only thing you have when reporting subjective symptoms such as pain, dyspnea, anxiety, weakness, etc. SSA uses a two-step process to evaluate credibility. First, they’ll compare your symptoms to those that would be experienced by someone with your condition and similar objective medical evidence. Second, they will evaluate the credibility of the statements you’ve made regarding the pain’s intensity and persistence as well as how the condition causes limitations for you.
The judge is responsible for determining if there is an underlying medically determinable impairment with the ability to cause the pain you are experiencing. For a condition to be considered “medically determinable”, it must be viewable on your X-ray or MRI. Additionally, it may be seen on lab results or through objective clinical evidence. Consider the following example. If you’re requesting disability due to back pain, there’s an advantage if you’ve had a MRI that indicates compressed nerves are causing your pain. However, if you aren’t experiencing a medically determinable impairment or the symptoms you’re complaining of cannot be attributed to your medically determinable impairment, SSA guidelines say you must be found not disabled. Generally, judges don’t decide there isn’t a medically determinable impairment.
When a judge decides you have a medically determinable impairment that can cause the symptoms you’re experiencing, he’ll determine if the severity of your symptoms meet guidelines. The judge will evaluate the persistence, intensity, and limiting effects the pain or other symptoms have on your functional ability. If objective medical evidence supports your symptoms, he may not be concerned with your credibility. However, if the objective medical evidence is insufficient, the judge will use the process of credibility analysis to decide if your symptoms are as severe as you claim by studying your entire case record.
QUESTIONS REGARDING DISABILITY ANALYSIS
Social Security realizes that there are occasions when your symptoms are worse than objective medical evidence suggests. If this is the case, the judge will assess the following in an attempt to find support for your claims.
•What results in the worsening of your symptoms
•The location, frequency, duration, and intensity of the symptoms you are experiencing
•What treatments, if any, you have received for symptom management
•Medications that you are currently taking including dosage and frequency
•Any extra measures that you make to decrease your pain, such as elevating your feet when sitting, sleeping on a board, using a wheelchair when in public, etc.
A judge will consider the above factors as well as any other factors they deem important. They will then evaluate the extent to which the symptoms you are experiencing limit your ability to perform basic work activities.
Our disability lawyers specialize in disability law and are ready to provide you with the assistance you need to establish anything your case may be lacking as well as make certain your case is prepared correctly for the best chance of success. Contact our disability lawyers for your free consultation.