Many people believe that if they have their physician write a letter to the Social Security Administration advising them that their patient is “disabled” and should receive benefits that they will automatically be awarded benefits by the Social Security Administration. This is not the case.
A claim for benefits under the statutes and rules that govern the determination by the Social Security Administration as to whether a claimant is disabled involves a five step process. For many or even most people claiming disability benefits the most important issue is not what the medical diagnosis may be, but the physical or mental restrictions caused by the condition. While the Social Security Administration’s administrative law judge must have some medical evidence to support a decision, such as a diagnosis, the decision itself is based on whether the claimant is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity which will earn more than $1,000 per month in most cases. This is very case specific, and is different for every person making a claim for disability benefits.
When you make your presentation of evidence to the administrative law judge it is important to fully describe what you can do, and what you cannot do, as a result of your medical condition. Your abilities, your residual functional capacity, will be compared to jobs available in the national and local job markets to determine whether you are disabled.
An attorney who specializes in Social Security disability law can help you to prepare your case. The attorney will gather medical evidence, often get reports from your physician or a vocational expert, and prepare you for your testimony so you meet the requirements for proving disability under the Social Security laws.
The fine print: As an important formality, be aware that we do not represent any person until we both agree in writing that we will represent you. Meeting all time limits and deadlines imposed by the law remains your responsibility until we have a written agreement. This web site is not legal advice, which we only give in the office.