The most persuasive medical records from attending physicians in a Social Security case are those which specifically document the patient’s limitations. The only way for a physician to accurately assess reasonable work capacity is to do physical examinations and to speak with the patient. A physician who provides a brief statement indicating that one of his patients is disabled is providing very little benefit at a Social Security hearing. This is because much more is needed for a favorable ruling to be issued.
Specifically, doctors should comment on precise limitations such as maximum number of pounds someone can lift and how frequently he or she can lift that weight. A statement indicating whether or not the patient can sustain work activities for 8 hours per day, 5 days a week and whether or not the lightest of light work, if available, could be performed by the patient.
At our firm, we utilize a special form that asks the doctor these specific detailed questions. Many times, the doctor will consult with the patient while completing the form to get an accurate assessment of work functionality. It is highly likely that the doctor has never actually thought about these specific questions regarding work capacity in extreme detail. The details are what will matter to the Law Judge when a decision is being issued on your claim.
If you have questions regarding your Social Security matter, please feel free to contact our office.