In every Social Security Disability case, the single, most important aspect of every case is the medical evidence. Without concrete medical documentation, there is no way to confirm an alleged physical or mental impairment. Disability analysts and Administrative Law Judges look to specific medical evidence to determine how severe an impairment is. Knowing what type of medical evidence to submit is key to proving your case.
Below are examples of effective medical evidence in a Social Security Disability case.
MRI Reports / Lab Tests
Objective lab tests and radiology test reports such as MRI’s are an excellent way to prove an impairment. Since these tests are completely objective, they serve to confirm injuries in physical disability cases. Disability cases that include injuries to the back, shoulders, neck or knees should all have an MRI report giving an impression of the alleged impairment. Other objective tests include nerve conduction studies, echocardiograms,electrocardiographies, electrocardiograms and electromyographies.
Emergency room records are very helpful in a disability case. Most, if not all, people go to the ER after a serious incident involving their health or well-being. Another benefit of submitting all hospital records is because they show proof of treatment. If continuing to treat with a doctor on a regular basis is a financial hardship, hospitalization records might be the only medical evidence you have.
Undergoing any kind of surgery that is a direct result of your physical impairment is going to be a crucial part of the case. Simply testifying about a surgical procedure in the past is not enough. Obtaining these records are not necessarily difficult and surgical records prove that a part of your body required extensive, reconstructive surgery. Examples of common surgical records in disability cases include arthroscopic shoulder and knee procedures, discectomies and other back procedures and procedures to correct carpal tunnel syndrome.
Physical Therapy records
Following surgery, individuals often need several weeks, sometimes months of physical therapy to rehabilitate themselves. Physical therapy can include intensive treatment, stretching, massage, mobilization, electric stimulation, the use of assistive devices and/or treating with a chiropractor.
Follow Up Examinations & Evaluations
Continuation of treatment is crucial to your disability case. For starters, it shows that you have the desire to heal your impairments and more importantly, follow-up exams show consistency in diagnoses as well as longevity of the impairment iteslf. Doctors commonly opine as to a patient’s ability or inability to work in an evaluation and they will frequently recommend further treatment. These examinations also provide insight as to how the impairment came about, which goes directly to your credibility about your alleged impairments.