Social Security Disability RC

How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long for Disability?, Disability Application
Social Security Disability list of impairments
How to Qualify for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyers FAQ, Disability Back Pay

Always list all your various symptoms on your Disability Application

Tip 6:

A person's various symptoms can go a long way toward establishing just how functionally limited they are. And those symptoms, such as pain or fatigue, will carry much more weight when they're supported by the medical records; in other words "objective medical findings".

However, those symptoms help cannot support a case if they are not listed by the claimant. Remember, disability decisions are made on the totality of the evidence available to the decision-maker, who may, depending on the level of the claim, be a disability examiner, or a federal administrative law judge.

Symptoms, daily activities, and functional limitations

A person who is trying to win Social Security Disability or SSI disability benefits should list their various symptoms they have. They may also wish to list the effects of each condition they have. This would include any difficulty they have in certain physical areas such as the ability to sit, stand, walk, reach, bend, lift, carry, see, or hear. It would also include any difficulties they have in cognitive areas such as difficulty in concentrating, difficulty in remembering, difficulty in adhering to work schedules, etc.

Why is this so important? It has to do with how disability claims are decided. An SSA disability examiner (who works on the case at the application and reconsideration levels) or an administrative law judge (who decides the case at the hearing level) will need to establish, first of all, after reviewing the medical evidence, whether or not a claimant has a specific listing level condition. If they do have have a condition that is contained in the SSA listings, or blue book, and their medical evidence satisfies the requirements of the listing, they may be approved.

However, if they do not have an impairment that meets or equals a listing, and this is true in most claims, they will be in the position of having to win their case by demonstrating that they have significant functional limitations that limit their ability to engage in normal activities of daily living.

Normal daily activities include routine tasks such as dressing oneself (the inability to close buttons on a shirt may be the result of impaired finger movement), reaching overhead (another manipulative limitation), and carrying groceries into the house (which might be limited by a wide range of conditions including those that affect the ability to lift, carry, balance, or bend).

These are just a few examples but it should be apparent why a disability examiner will inquire into a claimant's daily activities because the answers that are obtained can serve to illustrate the impact that a medical condition, or set of conditions, can have on the ability to perform normal activities, which can translate to the ability to engage in work-related activities.

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  • Basic Facts about the Administrative Law Judge Social Security Disability Hearing

  • How Does A Disability Examiner Determine a Personís Functional Limitations?

  • How Far Back Does Social Security Look At Your Medical Records?

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    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

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    For the sake of clarity, is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

    The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

    To learn more about the author, please visit the homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.