Meeting the Severity Requirement

To qualify for disability benefits, you must have a “medically determinable impairment” and your impairment must be “severe.” The purpose of this requirement is to eliminate frivolous cases. These are cases in which the claimant’s condition interferes with the ability to work only slightly, or in which the claimant does not have a genuine medical problem.

Can My Doctor’s Opinion Be Used to Help My Disability Claim?

Disability attorneys often look to a claimant’s primary doctor or treating physician for a medical opinion as to the client’s impairment. This might be the most important evidence presented in your case, especially because under the SSA rules and regulations, the doctor’s opinion might be “controlling”—that is, the SSA will automatically adopt the doctor’s opinion in its decision.

Proving Disability for Clients with Fybromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that is challenging for any attorney to prove under the strict standards of Social Security Disability rules. Under a new Social Security ruling, fibromyalgia symptoms are evaluated similarly to a chronic pain condition and can be a Medically Determinable Impairment (MDI) under the criteria set forth in SSR 12-2p with evaluation of symptoms including diffuse pain, fatigue, depression and difficulty with memory.