To prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment, you must have medical evidence. To establish that you suffer from a qualifying impairment, you will need to provide information, so the disability examiner can get your records from all caregivers who are familiar with your diagnosis and treatment. This could include:
- Your primary care physician
- Your psychiatrist or psychologist or therapist
- Your local hospital
- Other mental health facilities
- Other caregivers
The team from Berger and Green can ensure you provide all the necessary information so the examiner from the Office of Disability Determination Services can gain access to the medical evidence necessary to prove your impairment. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for your free case review and consultation.
Understanding the Role Your Medical Evidence Plays in Getting Disability Benefits
Your medical records and other evidence play a central role in getting approval with any type of qualifying impairment. The disability examiner who oversees your case will need to look at your doctor’s notes, test results, treatment plan, treatment results, and other information about your condition. This allows them to judge the severity of your condition and see that it prevents you from working and keeping a job.
Since your medical evidence is the only way the Social Security Administration (SSA) can determine if you meet the qualifications for disability benefits, it is important to ensure they have access to your records at every doctor, clinic, and hospital that treated you.
When you apply for disability, you will have to give the SSA a list of contact information, so they can request your records. This includes:
- Doctor or hospital name
- Phone number
- Patient ID, when possible
If you have Berger and Green working your case, we can help you gather this information and ensure it is correct on your application. Without this contact information, the disability examiner will not have access to your diagnosis, any test results, treatment plan and outcome, and information about your medication.
You Can Prove Your Case By Meeting a Blue Book Impairment Listing
The Social Security Administration publishes a book of qualifying impairments, known as the Blue Book. In this book, Section 12 – Mental Disorders addresses the criteria to get approved based on a mental condition or impairment.
If your medical evidence and application information confirm you meet the criteria under one of these listings, and you meet all other qualifications, you will likely get approved for disability benefits.
You Can Get Benefits Without Meeting a Blue Book Impairment Listing
If you do not qualify for disability based on a Blue Book listing for mental illness, you can still get benefits. This is possible through a residual functional capacity (RFC) evaluation. This evaluation considers how your impairment — including side effects of any treatment and other disabilities — affects your abilities. It does look at your medical evidence, but it also uses the information from your application to get a better look at the full picture.
Your RFC is not only concerned with your diagnosed mental condition but also with your overall ability to get, keep, and work a job. If they determine you cannot work your previous job or any other job you might be suited for, you will likely get approved for benefits. You may also get benefits if you can work but require reasonable accommodations to do so.
They can evaluate your RFC in three ways:
- Have a doctor from the Office of Disability Determination Services review your medical records and application information
- Have your doctor complete a special form based on their knowledge of your impairments and abilities
- Have you attend one or more consultative examinations with a doctor it pays for
Any of these methods should allow them to determine the type of work you are capable of, how often you can work, and how long you can work.
Let Berger and Green Help You Prove Your Disability Case
To get disability benefits in Pittsburgh, you must prove you suffer from a disability so severe it keeps you from working. This can be especially difficult when the disability is a mental condition or impairment. Our Social Security disability attorneys know what it takes to get approved for disability, and we will fight for the benefits you deserve.
Berger and Green can ensure the SSA has all the information it needs about your medical care and care providers. We will double-check your claim and help you file. If the SSA already denied you for Social Security Disability Insurance/Disability Insurance Benefits or Supplemental Security Income, we can help you file an appeal and fight the denial.
Call the Pittsburgh Social Security Disability team from Berger and Green today to discuss your case for free: 412-661-1400.