Social Security Disability and Functional Limitations
What Are Functional Limitations? Functional limitations are the physical and/or mental limitations that prevent you from working. Establishing functional limitations is vital to winning your Social Security disability claim. To be found disabled, you have to show that you're unable to perform full-time work. Disability claims are frequently denied because there is no evidence proving that the claimant's disability is severe enough to preclude work. That's why claimants need to submit evidence of their functional limitations with their applications. A medical statement from your doctor that describes the limitations caused by your impairment is the most powerful form of evidence you can obtain to support your disability claim. This medical statement goes by several different names: -Medical source statement -Statement of limitations -Statement of permanent restrictions -Medical opinion Social Security looks for detailed notes from your doctor about what you're capable and not capable of doing. Social Security evaluates your ability to do basic activities in an eight-hour work day, such as standing, walking, sitting, lifting, and carrying. If you have a mental impairment, Social Security evaluates your ability to follow simple instructions, maintain focus and concentration, and interact with other people. The primary reason why most disability claims are denied is that they don't include a medical statement from the treating doctor and only contain medical records. Medical records typically contain a description of your symptoms, the doctor's findings, and the doctor's treatment plan, but they don't establish the functional limitations that Social Security uses to evaluate a claimant's ability to work. If you don't provide a statement of limitations from your doctor, you are at a disadvantage. Social Security will review your medical records and formulate a statement of limitations on its own. But do you really want a Social Security doctor or technician who doesn't know you and has never examined you to determine what your limitations are? The Statement of Limitations: A Critical Element of Your Case The best person to get evidence of your limitations from is your doctor, who thoroughly understands how your impairment has affected you. A statement from a friend or your spouse can also help you make your case. Hire a Georgia Social Security disability lawyer to assist you in obtaining a complete picture of your functional limitations from your doctor and other people in your life. Call (800) 883-7043 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with Atlanta-based Georgia Social Security disability lawyer Louis B. Lusk.