Thursday, December 4, 2008

Medical Records & Reports

Unless you are paralyzed or blind, simply submitting your medical records is unlikely to result in an award of benefits. The claims adjudicator usually states that the diagnosis is not disputed, only its severity. In other words, disability claims are denied because the medical records do not indicate how the medical condition is severe enough to interfere with work duties.

In cases before the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), as mentioned in my prior blog entry, one way to establish that a condition is severe enough to preclude work is to provide evidence that a condition meets a listing. I represent a 51 year old former real estate representative who retained me after his application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits was denied by the Stroudsburg, PA district office. Two weeks after I submitted a request for a fully favorable decision on the record (“OTR”), the SSD application was approved by the Wilkes Barre hearing office.

The OTR did not submit new medical records. Instead, I had the treating doctor complete a functional assessment that indicated the claimant met a listing, together with a brief narrative report explicitly stating that the claimant met the listing. The gist of the decision was that the claimant met the listing, and was found presumptively disabled.

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