The last thing you want is the Social Security Administration (SSA) rejecting your disability application. Unfortunately, rejections are often more common than approvals.
According to the SSA, they deny around 64% of the disability applications they receive. There are many reasons why this can happen. One of the most common reasons for application denials is a lack of hard medical evidence. If you’re filing a disability claim for the first time, it’s crucial to consider how you will present that medical evidence to the SSA and use it to make a credible and compelling case.
How does SSA define medical evidence?
The SSA says medical evidence is the main way they determine a person’s disability status. They often use that evidence to determine if your disability prevents you from working. Additionally, the administration says your evidence should be objective and come from an acceptable medical professional, also known as a “treating source.” Treating sources can include licensed:
- Medical doctors
- Osteopathic doctors
- School psychologists
- Speech-language pathologists
- Audiologists (for hearing loss impairments/auditory processing disorders)
- Advanced practice registered nurses
The SSA emphasizes treating sources because these medical professionals can usually provide the most detailed and accurate evidence of your impairments. That way, the SSA can make a more informed decision when determining if you qualify for benefits.
Additional sources for medical evidence
Treating sources can play a significant role in establishing hard medical evidence. However, they’re not the only medical source you can utilize. There are other sources you can use as medical evidence, including:
- Your medical history
- Laboratory findings (blood pressure, x-rays, etc.)
- Official diagnoses
- Clinical findings (results from physical or mental status exams)
- Statements regarding your capabilities and limitations
A convincing case isn’t always enough
Relevant and strong medical evidence can’t guarantee you’ll receive benefits. However, licensed medical professionals, lab results, treatments and your medical history can increase your chances of getting them. And if your application does get rejected, you can appeal it.