Social Security Disability Q&A: What Evidence Will I Need to Provide?

Disabilities, just like the individuals who experience them, are unique. While one person might experience a chronic illness that doesn’t interfere with her ability to work, the same illness in a second person could be debilitating. When you file for Social Security Disability, you’ll have to prove not only that you have a medical condition, but that the condition has a disabling effect.


Filing for SSDI: The Basics

When you file for Social Security, the Social Security Administration will examine five basic questions, the answers to which affect whether or not you’re eligible for disability payments and how much money you can get:

  1. Are you working? If you earn more than $1,070 per month, you can’t typically get disability.
  2. Do you have a severe condition? It’s not sufficient to simply have a medical condition. The condition must significantly interfere with your ability to work.
  3. Is your condition on a list of disabling conditions? Some conditions are more severe than others. For example, lung cancer is debilitating to virtually everyone, while the symptoms of diabetes vary. The Social Security Administration maintains a list of disabling conditions that render an applicant automatically eligible for SSDI.
  4. Can you work or do the work you used to do? Your condition must be so severe that it completely eliminates your ability to do the kind of work you’ve done for the last 15 years.
  5. Can you do any other type of work? If you are under 50 and can’t do the work you’ve done before, you must also prove you can’t do any other full-time work.

What SSDI Evidence Will I Need to Provide?

Filing for Social Security isn’t like getting a doctor’s note to excuse you from work or school. Your disability will have to be exhaustively documented before you’ll be eligible for government assistance. The Social Security Administration currently accepts doctor’s reports from the following licensed medical professionals:

  • Psychologists
  • Optometrists
  • Podiatrists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Physicians

The medical professional who documents your disability must be qualified to address your specific disability. For example, a podiatrist cannot diagnose you with autism.

Your treating physician or medical professional must submit evidence that you have a medical condition and that the medical condition interferes with your functioning. You may have to submit the following information:

  • The specific diagnosis with which your doctor has diagnosed you
  • Clinical records, such as psychological testing or notes on physical exams
  • Laboratory test
  • A statement itemizing the things you are still capable of doing, including your ability to provide work-related activities such as sitting, carrying heavy objects, and speaking.
  • The treatment your doctor recommends and your prognosis

It would be a very good idea before you do an initial filing to consult a Social Security Disability Attorney who can give you guidance about your case and help you file. Contact one of the Social Security Lawyers at McDivitt Law Firm today to request a FREE consultation.

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