The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur
North New Jersey: 973-200-6629
South New Jersey: 609-207-7905

Social Security disability evidentiary requirements: key points

For New Jersey residents who are suffering from an illness, condition or disability and believe its severity warrants Social Security disability benefits, there are certain facts that should be considered before moving forward with the application. The word "evidence" is mentioned frequently, but few are fully cognizant of what it truly means. It is imperative to remember that the foundational part of getting SSD benefits is the evidence. People who do not present their evidence in full might face a denied claim even if their issues warrant benefits.

The applicant must provide the evidence to show that he or she is impaired and it meets the necessary severity to get an approval. The Social Security Administration can assist in getting evidence from the person's medical sources. The applicant must give permission for this. The sources are required to have provided treatment, evaluated the person, and conducted examinations. Hospitals and other medical centers can provide evidence of the impairment.

The impairment must be shown by objective medical evidence. The source must be medically acceptable. For severity, all evidence from medical and nonmedical sources will be assessed and how it impacts the applicant in a work setting. Just about anyone who is acquainted with the applicant can provide nonmedical evidence. That includes family, friends, welfare agency workers, teachers, neighbors, caregivers and more. The applicant is required to tell the SSA about evidence that he or she is aware of and is connected to the disability. With it, the SSA must be able to determine: what the disability is and its severity; how long it has lasted; and if the person can perform physical and mental activities related to work.

When the evidence presented is insufficient for a determination, the SSA might request a consultative examination to have a fuller picture and to come to a fair decision. When presenting evidence for the claimant's symptoms, the following should be included: the daily activities the claimant does; where their symptoms are located, how often it flares up and its severity; if there are factors that precipitate and aggravate it; if there is medication and what the dosage and effectiveness is; what other treatments are given; if the claimant takes other steps to reduce pain and symptoms; and other factors that impact the limitations.

People suffering from illnesses, injuries or conditions that prevent them from working and want to apply for Social Security disability benefits must be aware of the requirements to get an approval. Since it can be complex and confusing, a law firm that specializes in the federal requirements and other matters is critical to a case and should be called for advice and guidance.

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