Struggling people whose Social Security applications are denied may chalk it up to disability adjudicators simply not believing what they have to say about the seriousness of their symptoms and the impact their injuries have on their ability to work. Unfortunately, however, it is very rare for a disability claim to be granted based solely on the subjective complaints of an applicant. Medical records play a crucial role in nearly every Social Security case, and claimants who fail to seek or keep up with treatment— and those who do not provide enough information about their treatment histories— are all but guaranteed to see their claims denied.
During both initial disability evaluations and subsequent appeals to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, SSA decision makers rely upon medical records in the following ways:
- To show the existence of a verified medical or psychiatric condition
- To determine whether the condition qualifies as severe
- To determine the onset date of the condition
- To determine whether conditions and their respective severity can justify subjective complaints
- To determine an applicant’s physical and mental capabilities and the restrictions they create on his or her ability to perform work available in the national economy
While every judge and adjudicator is different, SSA decision makers generally do listen to what you have to say about your conditions and how they affect your daily life, so long as there is objective and credible medical evidence to support those complaints. A North Carolina disability attorney can help you understand what records are most important to your case and ensure that you provide the adjudicator with all the information he or she needs to decide in your favor.