Topic Categories:

Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

Ask a question, get an answer

What if Social Security Disability does not follow my doctor's assessment of my condition?

How does Social Security decide that I can do a certain level of work when my doctors clearly state that I can't?

Disability examiners review the medical records they obtain and draw up something known as an RFC, or residual functional capacity, statement. On the RFC form, they determine if you are rated as sedentary, light, or medium based on how they perceive your physical limitations.

To some extent, this is subjective. They usually (unless they are classified as an SDM, single decision maker) consult with a physician who works in their case processing unit as a medical expert. So, basically, an MD and a disability examiner together come to the conclusion of what your physical exertional capacity is, which determines whether or not you are considered to have the capacity to return to your past work.

Unfortunately, at the initial claim and reconsideration appeal levels, it is not uncommon for a claimant's treating physician's opinion to be disregarded even when it is presented on an independent medical source statement.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Medical Source Statement for Social Security Disability or SSI
Proving a Social Security Disability Case Often Means Getting a Statement from Your Doctor
How does a Medical Source Statement (RFC Form) help win a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?
The Sequence of Steps to be Approved for Social Security Disability or SSI
How Important is the Treating Physician to a Social Security Disability or SSI case?
Should you get a Statement from a Personal Physician for your SSD or SSI Disability Case?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Social Security Disability SSI Requirements, Criteria, Eligibility
How to file for disability, How to apply for SSD or SSI benefits
Who will qualify for disability? - What qualifying is based on
Social Security Disability - Permanent Disability
How to Claim Disability Benefits through Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply for?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status on a pending claim
Working and Disability - Are You Allowed to Work While Receiving Social Security Disability or SSI?
What is the difference between Social Security disability and SSI?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it