When the Social Security Administration evaluates if an individual is unable to work and entitled to benefits because of a medical or psychological condition, they look at many factors to determine what impact the conditions have on a person’s work capacity. These factors include medical records, statements made by physicians about a person’s work capacity and the statements that an individual makes about their own work capacity and ability to do normal daily activities.
Ability to Work
When evaluating a person’s statements about their own ability to work, the Social Security Administration looks at many factors to determine the credibility of those statements. The Social Security Administration looks for consistency between statements made by a claimant, individuals who are familiar with a claimant like friends and family, doctors and past employers about what a person can and cannot do on a daily basis.
Limitations, Treatments & Success
Other factors that they analyze include whether or not a given impairment, diagnosis or condition is expected to cause specific limitations, the types of treatment and medication that an individual has sought to alleviate a condition and how well those treatments worked. They will also consider the attempts an individual has made to continue to work, including changes in jobs or requests for accommodations at work.
Daily Living Activity
Other very important factors include a person’s activities of daily living, which include the ability to care for oneself, others, a home and the ability to do activities outside of the home such as drive, shop, engage in hobbies or community groups.
If an individual claims that they are unable to walk more than a few feet without resting, but that person regularly shops or does yard work the Social Security Administration will have difficulty finding that individual to be credible.
If you are seeking disability benefits, it is important to have medical records which clearly document your conditions and work capacity as well as be able to clearly explain how the medical conditions affect your ability to perform normal activities or work.