The very first question an individual usually asks is “Am I eligible for disability?” The Social Security administration first looks at whether or not an individual has not or will not be able to work for at least 12 consecutive months due to a medically determined impairment. This stresses the need for a claimant to seek medical treatment, as you must receive a diagnosis by a medical professional. The impairment must also be considered severe. Depending on the impairment, time is needed with a medical professional to establish a record of severity and the effect of your impairment or impairments on your ability to function in an employment setting. Diagnostic testing may be appropriate. Compliance with prescribed treatment is necessary.
The importance of seeking treatment and diagnostic testing where applicable can be demonstrated by a claimant I represented named John (name has been changed). John was 57 years old and had well
documented back and neck problems as evidenced by medical imaging. His medically determined impairments did preclude many jobs, but not all jobs. But the picture was incomplete. John’s nerve damage in his spine also caused numbness and pain in his arms and this made it difficult for John to use his hands on a consistent basis for more than 15 minutes. Obviously, most jobs in our national economy require the use of your arms and hands. How could he prove this, though? A nerve conduction study! After recommending this testing, it was proven that, indeed, the nerve signals to his arms and hands were compromised and there was a medical scientific basis for the pain and numbness in his arms and hands. John won his claim at the administrative judge level.
We can advise you, too, on how to obtain the necessary documentation to successfully prove your case.