What exactly is a “medically determinable impairment?”

| May 3, 2021 | Social Security Disability

Lots of people are compromised in some manner relevant to personal health and the ability to function in ways that they regard as being normal and customary.

In good faith, they know they’re ailing. Their illness or disease is truly incapacitating and of a materially disabling and long-term nature.

But can they prove it?

Indeed, that is a fundamental requirement imposed by federal regulators pursuant to their overseership of the Social Security Administration’s disability insurance program.

And the agency is anything but casual and permissive regarding the bar it sets for claimants seeking to secure SSD benefits. As diverse as is the pool of disability applicants, filers for benefits routinely coalesce around this recurrent reality: Proving disability to the satisfaction of government examiners can be an arduous and exacting task.

Some applicants strive to do that by themselves and quickly confront a disability definition that comes with some daunting imperatives. The SSA states on a website page that disability for purposes of collecting government benefits is “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or medical impairments.”

That makes for an often bracing test of proofs. What is a medically determinable impairment?

Here’s what it is not, stresses one legal overview addressing the type of evidence required to establish a disabling impairment: a condition alleged by a claimant’s personal assertions regarding an illness, nor by a solitary diagnosis or medical opinion. The Social Security Administration mandates that an impairment be shown by “medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques,” subject to a high degree of scrutiny.

For many applicants, that logically mandates proven and on-point legal help at an early juncture of the SSD process.

An experienced disability attorney with a deep well of proven client advocacy can provide that assistance, helping to guide an applicant through the application and appeals processes.