Physical And Mental Health Impairments Claims

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must show that you have a "medically determinable" physical or mental impairment that prevents you from working for at least 12 consecutive months. The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines "medically determinable impairment" as "an impairment that results from anatomical, physiological or psychological abnormalities that can be shown by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques."

In other words, you must present medical evidence of a physical injury or a mental impairment. Examples of acceptable medical evidence include physician examination summaries, laboratory test results and treatment records.

The Importance Of Providing Timely And Accurate Information On All Conditions

The medical evidence must provide enough information from acceptable medical sources to allow SSA examiners to make an independent medical judgment about the extent of your injuries. Note the use of the plural "injuries" at the end of that sentence. Often, a person filing for disability insurance will list multiple conditions. The SSA considers limitations that result from all of a person's impairments. Extended physical impairments — chronic back pain, for example — may produce depression or other mental conditions that can and should be included in your full report.

In order to receive disability benefits as a result of mental health disorders, it must be shown that the applicant's symptoms limit his or her daily activities, ability to complete tasks and his or her ability to function socially. Some of the mental disorders that are listed in the SSA "blue book" for qualifying for disability benefits include:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Mental retardation
  • Affective disorders
  • Autism
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Substance addiction disorders

Personal Attention From An Experienced Lawyer

I am attorney Paul Tendler, and I work with my clients to collect all of their pertinent medical information in order to build the strongest case possible. I facilitate an open dialog, not only between you and me, but with your doctors as well. This ensures that every aspect of your physical and mental health is considered.

If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder that prevents you from working but does not meet the criteria of the SSA's disability listings, examiners will review your "residual functional capacity" (RFC) to determine if your disability claim should be approved. RFC explores what kinds of work activities you can do despite your impairment and any treatment you are receiving. If your condition prevents you from performing your job, the SSA wants to determine if you can perform any other kind of work.

If the SSA determines that you cannot perform your job or any other job, you may qualify to receive benefits under what is known as "medical vocational allowance."

Contact The Law Office Of Paul Tendler

Enlisting the services of an experienced disability benefits attorney will increase your chances of successfully appealing a denied claim. If you are dealing with a physical health impairment or a mental health impairment, contact my office to schedule a free consultation. I work with clients throughout southern New Jersey from my office in Somers Point.