The Doctor's Opinion
A lawyer with an Atlanta Social Security disability law firm addresses the relationship between the opinions of the claimant's doctors and the assessment of functional capacity. Completing the Functional Capacity Form Although the degree of detail required on the functional capacity form may seem excessive, it is indispensable if the Social Security Administration is to evaluate the patient's ability to work with any accuracy. This applies even more heavily if the patient's case is to be heard by an administrative law judge. For the vocational experts whose task it is to identify possible work opportunities existing in the job market, a comprehensive assessment of the claimant's current abilities is necessary. There may be questions on the form that do not relate directly to your situation, but whether you win or lose your case could very easily depend on giving detailed answers to those that do. When a Short Answer Is Impossible If a physician is unable to answer a question on the functional capacity form with a simple “yes” or “no,” space is provided in the margins for additional detail. In fact, SSA looks at the margins specifically for the elaboration that is often required to fully explain the answer to a question, so there is no reason to hesitate about using them. The doctor cannot provide too much detail or too much explanation for the SSA. In this case, more is definitely better. The clearer and more comprehensive the answer, the lesser the likelihood of misunderstanding the doctor's meaning. Further, SSA places greater emphasis on the value of a comprehensive answer. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(d)(3). The Atlanta Social Security Disability Attorney Addresses Ability to Work The view that anyone who is in any degree ambulatory should be capable of functioning in a job of some kind is commonly held among physicians and often among lawyers and judges as well. Both the SSA and the Atlanta Social Security disability attorney need the input of the claimant's doctor with regard to the patient's abilities and any suggestions concerning adaptations or accommodating equipment or provisions on the job will be important to the purpose. Explore Your Options Be sure you fully understand the options available to you. Call the Law Office of Louis B. Lusk, your Atlanta Social Security disability law firm, at 404-250-7000 today.