Social security disability claims are judged on the basis of a claimants’ work history, physicians’ opinions regarding work, medical records, and the attempts made by the claimant to return to work. An individual who has been consistent in his/her work and has paid social security taxes regularly stands a very good chance of winning a claim.
- It is important that the claim is supported by accurate documentation with all the relevant medical records, physicians’ notes and other applicable documents. All documentation should be given to the judge for review purpose before the hearing. This will help the judge to have a clear idea of the claimant and the case.
- The judge will surely review all medical records and during the hearing these records should confirm the claimant’s testimony. When patient healthcare records are well documented, there is every chance of winning the SSD claim. Therefore the patient’s diagnosis, treatment history, whether he/she has been seen by a medical specialist, compliance with treatment recommendations are all factors that require crystal clear documentation. In addition, the records should support the claimant’s testimony as regards the severity, frequency and duration of his/her symptoms, and why they limit the ability to function normally. Other things judges usually look for are whether the claimant is taking any medication, or undergoing treatment that signifies the seriousness of the medical condition and how debilitating it is. Any side effects from medications that could prove detrimental in a work environment will also be taken into consideration.
- Judges are required by Federal law to scrutinize the opinion of the claimant’s physician and adopt it. In this regard, written opinions from the physician in the form of medical source statements and narrative letters have to be submitted to the judge. Medical records become very important at this stage because the judge can adopt a physician’s opinion only if the medical documentation supports the physician’s statement.
A social security disability attorney will develop the claimant’s case and have an effective strategy in place, taking into consideration the above factors, which will help win the case.