What Medical Evidence Does Social Security Need To Decide My Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income Claim?

Posted April 1, 2021

In order to win a Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income claim, Social Security must receive medical evidence that shows either a physical or mental incapacity or both that cause you to be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity based upon your age, education, and work experience.

That’s a pretty long sentence. And, as you might imagine, it is also quite complicated in reality to determine what type of medical evidence is needed to win a Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income claim.

Generally speaking, medical records from specialists such as psychiatrists, orthopedists, neurologists, cancer specialist, heart specialists, or any specialized tests or hospitalizations carry a lot more weight than emergency room records, chiropractor notes, or notes from the family physician or nurse practitioner.

Additionally, the more medical records, the better. But there’s more to it than that.

Usually medical records are only good to show what diagnosis has been made or what treatment has been undergone, and most records are deficient in relating how the client is actually functioning.

The main question Social Security wants to determine in these claims is whether or not your physical and/or mental impairment prevents you from working in any substantial gainful capacity. There is usually no dispute as to your diagnosis and the only debate is whether your condition limits you enough to prevent employment.

The best way to ensure that your medical records reflect that is to talk with your doctors and give clear information about how your medical problems affect your activities of daily living. If you need help doing things or find yourself taking frequent breaks when doing regular activities of daily living, tell your physicians. If you can’t use your arms or legs to perform daily tasks, tell your doctor. If you can’t drive your car, tell your doctor. If you have psychiatric issues and don’t leave your house, tell your medical professional.

In other words, you can make your medical records accurately reflect the physical or mental problems you have on a daily basis by simply telling the medical professionals you see, which lead to it getting written down and becoming part of your records.

At Drummond Law, we spend a considerable amount of time talking to our clients about how they function on a daily basis. This will often give us ideas on how to best approach a claim to achieve a favorable decision. All cases are different and there are no hard and fast rules so we let our client guide us in the right direction.

If you have further questions and would like to talk to us about this topic, or any other topic concerning Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, please give us a call at (800) 842-0426 for a FREE consultation.


SSD & Workers Compensation Lawyers

Our Illinois-based firm specializes in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability cases. Feel free to contact us for more information and to speak to an actual, experienced attorney. If we don't win the case, you don't pay anything.

Our Attorneys

Applying for Social Security Disability

Learn More

Social Security Disability for Your Family Members

Learn More

Common Health Conditions that Qualify for Social Security Disability

Learn More

The Social Security Disability Process

Learn More

Do I Qualify for Worker's Compensation Benefits?

Learn More

Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim

Learn More

What Accidents and Injuries are Compensable?

Learn More

Repetitive Trauma Claims

Learn More

We are here to help you with legal questions

Personal Injury / Social Security Disability / Workers Compensation

Get In Touch

Request A Call Back

    Request A Callback

      Free, No-Obligation Case Review

        Free, No-Obligation Case Review