Experienced Disability Lawyers

Know how to provide evidence in a Social Security Disability case

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Social Security Disability

There are many relevant factors when applying for Social Security Disability benefits in Indiana. Failing to provide all the necessary information can sabotage what would otherwise be a viable claim. Of all the information that people need to give when seeking benefits, evidence of their disability is perhaps the most vital.

Knowing what is needed is key from the start. It is especially important if the claim is denied and the applicant wishes to file an appeal.

Key aspects to remember when providing evidence

According to the Social Security Administration, the claimant must provide the following:

  • Medical evidence
  • The existence of an impairment
  • The severity of the impairment

In general, cases are largely decided based on the medical evidence. The claimant needs to prove that they meet the medical threshold for impairment to be approved of SSD benefits. For example, if the person has a back injury that prevents them from working, they need to show a doctor’s prognosis, imaging results and treatments to back up the claim.

The SSA wants to know specifically what the injury or condition is; when and how it came about; how it is limiting; what the medical tests indicate in the present and for the future; and what treatments were given along with their effectiveness. This can be provided by medical sources who cared for the claimant.

The medical evidence is expected to be “objective” and from an “acceptable medical source.” If a physician or a specialist is giving the evidence and they have no stake in the case, then it should be sufficient. Credentials can be called into question if the evidence is given by a source that is not deemed qualified.

If the claimant is found to be impaired, the benefits will not automatically be approved. The issue must be severe. In short, it needs to hinder them from being able to function in a work setting. This is viewed in the context of work the person did previously and can no longer do. With the previous example of a back injury, a person who worked construction or was a laborer will have trouble performing those duties. They will also be assessed based on the ability to do other types of work that exist in the national economy.

By using the evidence, the SSA must be able to gauge the medical issue, its severity, the duration for which it is expected to last and if the impairment prevents the claimant from performing work-related tasks.

In some instances, the SSA cannot decide based on the evidence it has and a consultative examination will be needed. It can be another examination by the claimant’s chosen medical source or it can be an independent source selected by the SSA. This is used if the evidence, as provided initially, is not sufficient for a fair decision.

It can also be requested if the original source declines the opportunity to conduct the examination; they do not have the equipment to give the data the SSA is requesting; the information has been inconsistent; the claimant wants to use a different source; or there is a lack of credentials with the initial medical source.

Social Security Disability claims hinge on the details

When a person needs Social Security Disability benefits, they must make sure to follow the requirements set out by the SSA. Of course, that includes the evidence that the impairment is legitimate and is severe enough to limit attempts to work.

The SSA denies cases for a variety of reasons. If it is due to a lack of evidence, the claimant can add to what they already provided.

Applying and appeals can be complicated, it is wise to seek out help from experienced professionals.