Welcome! This site is written for Social Security disability claimants, for their legal representatives, and for the network of people involved in the Social Security disability claim process. I hope you find it helpful.
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From time to time I ask certain clients to keep a journal to keep track of their symptoms. For people with symptoms that are variable day to day, a journal can be be a good tool to quantify how often the symptoms are severe.

Every case is different, and everyone’s symptoms are different. So a

When Social Security Security evaluates a claim for disability, it uses a 5-step sequential evaluation. For steps 4 & 5 of the sequential evaluation, Social Security assesses your functional limitations and incorporates those limitations into a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). That RFC is then compared to the requirements of competitive work to determine whether

Those applying for Social Security disability benefits want to know when their claim will be decided. Since by definition a disabled person cannot work, the wait for a decision is a real struggle for most disability claimants. However, there are a couple of steps you can take to speed up the disability claim process.

First,

The patient is doing well.

I wish I had a nickel for every time I read that sentence in a progress note for a patient who is applying for disability benefits.

This statement (and similar language) in a patient’s medical records can cause problems in a disability claim, because it is routinely misinterpreted by those

At the close of a hearing, sometimes post-hearing argument is needed. Social Security's rules allow for oral and/or written post-hearing argument, upon request. See HALLEX section I-2-6-76.

I prefer to submit a post-hearing brief, rather than make a statement at the close of the hearing. I think a brief has far more impact.

When the SSA reviews your initial disability claim, it obtains your medical records, and determines your residual functional capacity after analyzing those records. The problem with this approach is that the SSA does not obtain your doctor's opinion about your limitations. Rather, the SSA reviews your medical records and makes its own determination.

However, a

There is an interesting Practice Tip provided by Illiniois attorney Eric Schnaufer in the September 2013 Social Security Forum, a newsletter for NOSSCR members. Attorney Schnaufer suggests submitting a treating source's curriculum vitae (CV) to the disability claim file. 

I think this is a great idea in certain cases. Some clients have treating specialists with

In a Social Security disability claim, you want to be specific when describing your symptoms and resultant functional limitations. Remember these three words when developing evidence about symptoms: frequency, severity and duration.

Whether you are talking about physical pain/fatigue, or mental health symptoms, these are the 3 things you must describe with medical evidence