Social Security Disability Self-Evaluation
Here's a short quiz that will help you determine what your chances are of being found disabled.
Rules To Ignore At Your Peril
1. Do not ask your treating doctor to write a memo saying that you are disabled and cannot work. Such statements are always rejected by Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) on the basis that doctors do not know what SSA's standards of judgment for disability are.
2. Make certain you are seeing a doctor of your choosing on a regular basis so that a good and complete medical record has been established. Evaluations should be typewritten; handwritten notes are rarely read. Nor do they provide a comprehensive assessment of the medical problems. Treating doctors are required to be given controlling weight in making a decision as long as what your doctor says does not contradict other reports from other treating and non-treating doctors.
3. All statements by medical professionals must be well supported by objective medical evidence, wherever possible. Objective medical evidence includes x-ray reports, CT scans, MRIs, endoscopic exams, EEGs,ECGs, blood tests, neurological exams, etc. for physical impairments. Clinical observations should be as detailed as much as possible. Mental impairments should be supported with as much testing and therapeutic findings as possible. Testing should include a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Rey Auditory Memory, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT), and clinical observations and findings.
4. While pain is subjective, as long as there are sound medical reasons for causing pain, then it will be taken into consideration.
The degree of pain cannot be measured, but its effect on thinking and concentration can be with an MMPI or IPAT. What you do, or don't do, during a typical day is also taken into consideration in evaluating the intensity and limiting effects of pain. The greater the degree of pain, the less one is able to do.
In theory, if your doctor replies that your impairments do meet or equal one or more of the Listings, that should be the end of it--you should be found disabled.
ALJ Listing Form
At the fourth step of the decision-making process, where the adjudicator must ask whether the individual's impairment meets or equals the Listings of Impairment, this form helps resolve any issues which might otherwise be left open to questions. It should be given to your treating doctors to answer, along with a copy of the Listings which apply to you.
But, in practice, it doesn't always work that way. The bottom line is always, how well does the individual function in spite of his or her impairments. So, be sure to get your doctor to complete the residual functional capacity assessment, too.
I gladly write you a check today for our fully favorable SSDI win.
For long years and NC didn't do anything quickly or easy, but you stayed the course, kept me informed and most important-were my champion. I never spoke to anyone at SSA because you were on the front line for me.
I am proof positive that you can win your benefits with a skilled professional by your side. Dystonians rejoice for Fred Johnson!
D.Brinkley Snead Ferry, NC
Thank you for the untiring support given to me in obtaining my Social Security Disability claim. I would not have been able to do all the hard work that you have put into this case. You will be greatly rewarded for the work you do for Disabled population. I will keep you always in my prayers. Again, thank you.!!!
Randallstown, MD 21132
I want to take this opportunity to personally thank you for successfully navigating us to a favorable decision with regard to my case. If one ever has any concern or doubt about hiring a representative over an attorney, I can assure them that this notion can be set to rest. You very capably guided me through a maze of obstacles designed to confuse and bewilder even the well educated.
Because Spasmodic Torticolllis is considered somewhat of a rare disorder and is not listed on the Department of Social Security's "listing of impairments:, it created a challenge, but it was one you were more than able to handle. Everything happened as you predicted with respect to the denials, but it was your expertise and perseverance that prevailed somewhere between the reconsideration denial and the hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, which was very unusual. You spared me the great anxiety and further depletion of my savings by cutting through the labyrinthine bureaucracy at the hearing level and winning benefits without have to go to a hearing. Needless to say, I am very pleased and would highly recommend you to anyone who may be considering you as their representative.
Not only were you always available to answer my questions and concerns on a professional level, but equally as important, was the way in which you took this case on personally. I really admired the way you actually fought for me. Your heart was in it and I could tell. You know the system so very well Fred, and people who attempt to take on this giant on their own are at a tremendous disadvantage from the beginning.
If your assistance will help level the playing field and helps them decide on the proper representation they truly need, then it is my honor and pleasure to be of service to you.
Thank you so much!
G. Beaubien, Jr.