When Social Security receives your disability claim, it reviews your medical records, and makes a determination on your claim. The SSA rarely obtains your doctor's opinion about your work-related functional limitations.
Rather, the SSA makes its own determination of your functional limitations. An in-house doctor infers your limitations from your medical records and the disability claim file, and completes an RFC form.
The problem with this approach is that a doctor's treatment notes are intended to manage a patient's medical care, not to establish the functional limitations that Social Security uses to evaluate a claimant's ability to work. As a result, the method used by Social Security to evaluate disability often results in a denial of the initial claim.
Further, the in-house doctors at Social Security are reviewing hundreds and hundreds of claims. It is difficult to make your true limitations stand out in such an environment.
To remedy this situation, it is very important to obtain your doctor's opinion regarding your physical and/or mental limitations, and how those limitations affect your ability to work. A medical source statement from your doctor setting forth your limitations due to your impairments is often the most powerful evidence in support of your disability claim.
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