Friday, March 16, 2012

Medical Source Statements

The importance of a Medical Source Statement (“MSS”) cannot be overemphasized in disability claims. An MSS summarizes the doctor’s medical findings and conclusions, including an opinion about the claimant’s functional abilities. In the absence of an MSS, the claims adjudicator frequently denies disability benefits on the grounds that there is no evidence regarding the severity of the claimant’s medical condition.

I represent a 22 year old who had worked delivering packages and as a fry cook, who injured his back, neck, and knee in a car accident. His application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits was approved without a hearing based on the MSS of the claimant’s pain management specialist. The SSD application was originally denied, even though all of the pain management specialist’s treatment records and diagnostic tests had been submitted, because the claimant’s condition supposedly was not severe enough to keep him from working.

On appeal, the claimant was finally able to obtain the pain management specialist’s MSS. The Administrative Law Judge approved SSD benefits without a hearing on the grounds that the claimant was limited to sitting or standing/walking, for two hours during an eight hour work day. Those functional limitations came from the MSS.

No comments: