Q & A: Can I submit non-medical sources of evidence in my disability claim?
Posted Feb 04 2010 12:26pm
Hello and welcome to the 8th installment of my Q & A serieswhich is designed to cover some of the more elusive topics associated with the Social Security Disability claims process. In this postI discuss how non-medical sources of evidence can be helpful in a disability claim.
Outside of doctorslicensed psychologistslicensed optometristshospitalsand clinicsare there additional evidence sources that I could submit information from that would help substantiate my disability claim?
Yesother additional sources may help show the extent of your impairment and how this affects your ability to function on a daily basis. Sources of this nature are as follows: previous employersfamily memberspastors/rabbisteacherssocial workerschiropractorsnaturopathsaudiologistsand speech and language pathologists. Although I have not exhausted all of the possible sources for additional evidencethe above includes the more common ones.
If you are involved with or are seeing any of the aboveand if they can attest to your inability to function in a work environmentthen providing information from these sources would most likely aid in supporting your claim for disability. In my practicemy clients will often get employers or family members to write statements on their behalf which confirm that they are unable to work or perform even basic household duties. We will submit these signed statements as notarized affidavits to the Judgeand they will thus become part of your disability case file. As long as they support the idea that you cannot hold down a job based on your illness(es)they will likely be helpful.
Never underestimate the value of a resource. As a ruleit is better to over submit medical documentation than to have not submitted enough. Always make sure that you have provided a list of these type resources to your attorney and/or representative. Your attorney will know the value of a particular resource. Rememberup until the end of the disability processyou are not able to meet one on one with the judge. Your medical records are your ‘voice’ per seand they tell your story up until such time as you are afforded a hearing in your case.