SSA Regulations on Evaluating Symptoms in Disability Cases

November 1st, 2013

It is acknowledged by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that symptoms can affect and limit people differently person to person. A disability lawyer in San Jose wants to help you understand the SSA regulations in determining abilities of patients.

Differences in Capabilities Due to Tolerance

With an example offered by the Social Security Administration, a disability attorney in San Jose explains with this scenario. One person may be fully capable of sustained work activity with a low back disorder. Yet, because of the pain, another person with the same disorder may only be able to sustain light work activity.

Professional Opinions

Your disability lawyer in San Jose would point out that the exercise of professional judgment is required to determine if a patient's claimed symptom-related limitations to be consistent with the medical signs and conclusions. Plus, do the findings show that the symptoms of the patient are reasonably attributed to the medical diagnosis.

An opinion may be sought of a doctor about the patient's physical and mental limitations, the nature of the symptoms and how the severity of the symptoms affect the patient in terms of what the patient can still do despite his or her impairments.

Subjectivity of an Individual's Capacity

Disability Lawyer in San JoseA disability attorney in San Jose would acknowledge that these opinions can be very subjective. The SSA does recognize the difficulty in quantifying symptom limitations that a patient will experience. Each patient's experience of their limits with their symptoms is different and, therefore, not easy to measure. Your disability lawyer in San Jose would acknowledge that the SSA recognizes that clinical or laboratory techniques alone cannot measure symptoms objectively.

Comparing to Others

What is sometimes called, the "average man" test is not an appropriate measurement and the Social Security Administration acknowledges this is not a fair means of measurement. A disability lawyer in San Jose will explain that what this means is if claimed limitations are reasonable for one patient, it should not be considered whether the average person would be limited in the same way with the same impairment.

Each individual has different levels of pain tolerance along with different abilities to cope with impairment. These difference need to be respected.

It is important to have a knowledgeable representation for your Social Security disability case. For a consultation with a disability lawyer in San Jose, call LaPorte Law Firm at 800-735-3425 today.


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