Your healthcare professional’s medical notes, their diagnoses, the tests they have performed, and their medical opinions regarding your impairment all play a big role in how social security determines whether you are disabled.
In many instances, medical evidence is the key indicating factor regarding your injury and how your claim functions. On top of the concrete medical analysis that doctors can provide, they can also give context on your medical history and how you have functioned in the past. If they do not have accurate information regarding these things, it is likely your claim will not be adequately represented due to the inconsistencies between you and your doctor’s historical recollections. This can severely impact the credibility of your claim, so it is important to ensure that you and your doctor are on the same page.
Given that most cases are built around the medical professional’s accounts, you must develop consistency with your doctor to bolster the legitimacy of your claim in the eyes of the social security judges who will decide your case.
What Happens At The Disability Evaluation? How Do I Prove I’m Disabled Or What Medical Evidence Will Prove My Case?
It is worth knowing that there are different points during the case where you may be evaluated by a physician selected by the social security administration to prove your disability.
Believe it or not, not every claimant has to go before a separate disability evaluator. Quite often, the documentation of your physical limitations may already be in your treating physician’s records. However, if you allege any kind of mental impairment, you will have to go see a psychologist.
The way you prove you’re disabled is by going through a 5-step sequential evaluation process. These often include questions such as:
- “Even with your limitations, are you able to return to your prior work?”
- “If you can’t return to your prior work, are there other jobs in the national economy that you are able to do?”
- And more.
If you are able to return to work, even though you may be earning less money than you were making before your disability, social security doesn’t care about that. If you can work and make what’s called “substantial gainful activity” (which comes out to a little over ~$1,000 a month), then you’re not disabled in the eyes of the government, even if there may be a dramatic decrease in your wages due to the nature of your injury.
Again, medical evidence (what social security calls “medical testing” or “laboratory findings”) is the most important asset to your claim. For example, it’s hard to prove that you are disabled due to multiple sclerosis if you don’t have an MRI of your brain showing white matter lesions. Likewise, it’s hard to prove that you don’t have arthritis if there’s no blood work indicating arthritis in your body. This is why medical evidence such as blood work and imaging studies go a long way in proving disability. At the end of the day, social security mostly relies on medical testing as proof that the injured person is truly suffering from a disabling condition that prevents them from properly functioning in a work environment. For more information on Social Security Disability in North Carolina, an initial consultation is your next best step.