Under Social Security law, a disability is defined as the inability to engage in any “substantial gainful activity” (SGA refers to the physical requirements of a paying job) because of a physical or mental impairment. This impairment or impairments:
- can be expected to result in death OR
- can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months, OR
- has already lasted for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
If you have been denied benefits, you and your attorney must prove to the Judge who conducts your hearing that Social Security got it wrong, and that you are indeed disabled.
To be accepted as disabled, Social Security requires that your physical or mental impairment (or impairments) are the result of anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities that can be shown by medically accepted clinical and laboratory techniques. This means that there must be medical evidence, such as X-rays, blood tests, or nerve tests that support your statements about the disabling condition. The medical evidence can include documentation of the individual’s symptoms, medical signs, and laboratory findings.
Social Security has published a list of conditions that are presumed to be disabling; these conditions are called “Listed Impairments”. If you can prove that your condition meets or equals (is essentially the same in terms of symptoms and the disability it causes) one or more of these conditions, you will win your case and be entitled to disability payments, either through SSD or SSI.
At Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, P.A., we often send questionnaires to your treating doctors which track the requirements of a listed impairment. For example, if we feel that a herniated disc is severe enough to meet a listing, we will ask your doctor whether the herniated disc was shown on an MRI or CT scan, whether you have numbness or tingling, whether you had nerve studies and what they showed, whether you had a positive straight leg raising test, etc. These tests and findings are required to prove a listing for a herniated disc.
Often, if the questionnaire confirms the listing, the Social Security judge and the Social Security medical expert who attends the hearing will agree that a listing has been met, and the hearing will end favorably. At HLA,we excel at getting clients the benefits they deserve. If you want to give yourself the best chance of winning your hearing, call us today at (800) 803-5555. Our offices are conveniently located in 3 counties in Southern Florida: Miami-Dade, Broward, & Monroe.