While a Social Security Disability (“SSD”) application can be approved based subjective evidence, it is more likely to be approved if based upon objective evidence. Additionally, the stronger the objective evidence, the sooner the SSD application is likely to be approved.
I represent a 49 year old building superintendent whose SSD application was approved today based on my request for a fully favorable decision on the record (“OTR”). This avoided the claimant’s having to appear, and more importantly wait, for a hearing. The OTR highlighted the objective medical evidence supporting the treating physician’s opinions regarding the claimant’s functionality.
Objective medical evidence can be broken down into two types: diagnostic and clinical. In support of the OTR, I submitted four diagnostic reports: a lumbar spine MRI, lumbar spine fluoroscopic discography, CT discogram, and cervical spine MRI, each with positive findings. I also submitted reports from the claimant’s treating orthopedist, pain management specialist, and two spine specialists that summarized their physical examination findings. Thus, the disability opinions of the claimant’s four treating physicians were supported by objective, and their opinions were given controlling weight.
It is possible that the claimant’s application may have been approved without all the objective diagnostic tests and clinical reports that were submitted on the OTR. However, without all of the evidence submitted on the OTR, the claimant probably would have needed to wait for a hearing before his application was approved. While there was some additional expense and effort required on the claimant’s part to obtain all of the evidence for the OTR, it probably enabled him to receive benefits close to two years sooner.