- In the determination of disability as defined by the Social Security Administration (“SSA,”) objective medical findings by the physician are critical.
- Should a physician find that a claimant’s medical condition meets the SSA’s guidelines under the Listing of Impairments, that claimant may be awarded disability benefits. Often, however, the objective medical findings do not fit within those guidelines. What then?
The medical findings alone cannot conclusively determine an individual’s disability. The SSA, in several specific cases, has concluded that a claimant’s capacity to work is not exclusively determined by such findings.
As a physician, operating within the SSA rules, you should be aware of the following:
1. Your medical findings must be considered in conjunction with the claimant’s (your patient’s) opinions. Speak with your patient and listen to what he or she may say about his or ability to do work-related activities.
2. Use your professional judgment to objectively determine whether what your patient says is reasonable in light of your objective medical findings and your patient’s medical history.
- How the SSA defines disability may be better explained by an experienced Des Moines Social Security disability attorney. Contact our offices for a free consultation.