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What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

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Why Does Social Security Disability Get Denied in California?




 
Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits are awarded only to those who can prove that A) they have a severe mental or physical impairment--or combination of impairments--that prevents them from working and earning a substantial gainful income, and B) this impairment has lasted, or is expected to last, a period of not less than twelve months.

Claimants must prove these above two points by supplying medical records from qualified medical sources (alternative medicine practitioners such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, and homeopaths will not do) in support of the claim for disability.

Unfortunately many claimants apply for disability in California on the basis of a condition for which they have received scant treatment or have never sought medical treatment, and thus have no medical records, or insufficient records, documenting either their condition, its functional limitations, their date of onset or a prognosis. Without this information a disability examiner really has nothing of substance upon which to base his or her decision.

Without pertinent medical records supplying this information, a disability examiner will likely have no alternative other than to deny a claim. A lack of evidence or a lack of current evidence may result in a claimant being sent to a CE, or consultative examination. However, these seldom result in a social security disability award when there's not much of a longitudinal medical treatment history to back up the information provided by this type of "snapshot".

In a practical sense, people who apply for SSD and SSI should try to seek medical treatment as soon as their symptoms begin to compromise their ability to do their job. It's also not a bad idea for claimants to review their medical records to be sure that they contain at least some level of detail to give a disability examiner a clear picture of their residual functional capacity (activities that they can and cannot perform as a result of their impairment).

Oftentimes physicians, who typically have very little insight into what is needed to prove a disability claim, leave a lot out in their notes.

They may document their diagnosis, but not the functional limitations and the daily activity restrictions that result from a condition. If a condition is preventing a patient from standing for long periods of time, lifting, concentrating, etc., this--for the sake of substantiating a disability claim--needs to be reflected in the medical records.

Patients who are considering filing for SSD or SSI may find it prudent to be up front with their treating physician, and inform him or her of the need to provide solid documentation for a disability case. True, some physicians do not wish to be bothered with disability matters, and some even dislike the idea of collecting disability benefits because they are opposed to it on principal (the old “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality, a.k.a., no government handouts). However, it’s best to know this before filing for disability, while there is still ample time to develop a treatment history with another physician who may be more helpful and, yes, compassionate.

One final note: If you are planning to file for disability, be scrupulous when it comes to showing up for your doctor appointments and following physician orders. Many physicians will drop a patient who fails to show up for appointments, and actually welcome the chance to get rid of “problem” cases. In addition, patients who are not taking medication as prescribed may allow social security to conclude that the patient is not severely impaired, or that their limitations might be lessened (and their ability to engage in work activity improved) if they were taking their medications.

SSD and SSI cases are denied due to a lack of supportive medical evidence. And, therefore, in a practical and strategic sense, claimants who wish to collect Social Security disability benefits must be willing to do what it takes to supply the documentation necessary for approval.















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





























Filing for disability in California

How do I Apply for Disability Benefits in California

How long should you wait before you apply for disability?

SSD and SSI applications in California

What do you do if your California disability claim is denied?

Do you file for your children when you apply for disability in California?

Should you apply for disability in California after a denial?

How long does a disability case take in California

After you file for disability in California

Filing for disability in California and your condition

Filing a disability claim in California, long filing process




The California disability process

Do I need to be disabled a year in California to get disability?

The Social Security Disability process in California

California Disability determination process

Disability approval criteria in California

California Social Security Disability decisions

Steps to Win Social Security Disability benefits in California




Questions about disability in California

How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?

California Social Security Back Pay

Can Disability benefits be garnished in California?

Disability two year medicare waiting period in California

California review of Social Security Disability claim

California Social Security Disability status

VA disability and California Social Security Disability

Can a Congressman in California help on a disability case

How do examiners make disability decisions in California?

Applying for disability benefits in California




How long does disability take in California?

How long does it take to get a decision on a disability case in California?

Why do disability claims take so long in California?

How Long Will It Take To Get My Disability Decision If I Appeal in California?




Disability claims in California with certain conditions

Applying For Disability On the Basis of Back Pain in California

Filing for Disability with Fibromyalgia in California

Social Security Disability For Mental Illness in California




Winning California disability

Will a lawyer improve the chance to win disability in California?

Getting approved for disability in California

Winning disability in California




California Disability Lawyers and Representation

Getting a disability attorney in California

Finding a new disability attorney in California




Applying for SSI in California

Filing for SSI disability in California

SSI disability denied in California

Are SSI claims in California denied more than SSDI claims?

How to apply for SSI Disability in California




Doctors, medical records, and medical exams

Doctors and applying for disability in California

Can you be turned down for disability in California if your doctor says you are disabled?




Disability hearings in California

Disability Hearings in California

California quick disability hearing

How do I win my Social Security Disability Hearing in California?

How long does it take to get a disability hearing in California?




Disability denials in California

Disability Denied in California

If a disability claim is denied in California

Appealing a Social Security Disability denial in California

If you get denied Social Security Disability in California

Why are Most Disability Cases Denied in California?

Getting approved or denied for disability in California




Disability appeals in California

How do you file a disability appeal in California?

How many disability appeals do you get in California?

If your California disability appeal is denied, can you get another appeal?

If your disability reconsideration is denied in California

Filing a reconsideration appeal in California

Why was I denied disability in California?




Qualifying for disability in California

Qualifying for disability in California

Qualify for SSD in California

Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in California?




Disability lawyers in California

Using a Social Security Disability Attorney in California

Cost of a California disability attorney

Why do disability lawyers in California sometimes not take cases?

Hiring a Disability Lawyer in California

Social Security Disability Attorney Fees In California

How do Disability Lawyers in California get paid their fees?

Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied in California?

Lawyer for a disability hearing in California

Why was I denied disability in California?