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Objective medical evidence and your SSD application

If you are about to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you must fulfill certain requirements established by the Social Security Administration.

For example, to qualify for benefits, you will have to provide “objective medical evidence” that confirms your disability. What exactly does this mean?

Support for your claim

By objective medical evidence, the SSA refers to complete medical records from an acceptable medical source that confirm your disability. Records you probably have on hand include results from x-rays, CT scans, MRIs and blood tests. However, the documents most essential to accompany your SSD claim are complete medical records your doctor and other health care professionals have signed.

Documents related to physical impairment

When you apply for SSD benefits due to a physical impairment, the documents your doctor signs should include:

  • Physical Residual Functional Capacity or RFC form
  • Letter from your doctor with your diagnosis, onset date and how the impairment limits your ability to work
  • Medical records with treatment notes from your doctor, physical therapist or other medical specialist involved with your care
  • Assessment records that show your need for medical equipment, such as a wheelchair or crutches

Documents related to mental impairment

If you have a mental impairment, you must submit a Mental Residual Functional Capacity or RFC form, which your psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor or therapist can sign. Other essential documents include psychiatric or neuropsychological evaluations or test results, letters that support your disability from caregivers and IQ test results.

Evidence as required

It takes time to assemble objective medical evidence, and you may need professional assistance to file your claim for SSD. However, the time spent will help you achieve your goal of obtaining Social Security Disability benefits.

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