What Kind of Evidence is Used to Evaluate and Decide a Disability Benefit Claim?

Applying for Social Security Disability in Fayetteville, Arkansas

What evidence is used to evaluate and decide a disability benefit claim?

Disability claims in Arkansas, and in every other state, are evaluated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) based on evidence you provide to substantiate your claim. The SSA considers medical evidence the cornerstone for the determination of disability. Your disability claim must be backed up by evidence that proves the existence, severity and permanence of your impairments. The Martin Law Firm in Fayetteville can help you navigate the difficult waters of the SSD system.

what kind of evidence is used to determine SSD

Sources of expert evidence about your disability

Your disability claim must be documented by someone the SSA considers to be a medical expert qualified to diagnose and treat disorders of the kind you have. SSA-defined acceptable sources include these licensed professionals:

  • Medical doctors
  • Osteopathic doctors
  • Certified psychologists
  • Optometrists
  • Podiatrists
  • Speech/language pathologists

SSA regulations place special emphasis on evidence from the medical professional — called treating sources — who has treated you over a longer period. Full reports from treating sources are given a lot of weight and may reduce or eliminate the need for additional medical evidence to complete your claim. However, the SSA also requests and considers copies of medical evidence from hospitals, clinics, or other health facilities where you have been treated. Information from other sources may also help show the extent to which your impairment(s) affect your ability to function in a work setting. Information from public and private agencies, caregivers, social workers, employers, naturopaths, chiropractors, and audiologists may be considered — but generally takes a back seat to the traditional medical reports.

What documents do I need to show that I am disabled?

The SSA asks health professionals to submit reports relevant to disability claims The SSD lawyers at the Martin Law Firm in Fayetteville, Arkansas, can help you assemble the documents you need, including:

  • Your medical history
  • Results of physical or mental status examinations
  • Diagnosis
  • Laboratory findings such as blood pressure and X-rays
  • Prescribed treatment
  • Prognosis
  • A statement about what you can still do despite your impairment, including your ability to perform work-related activities, such as:

– Sitting
– Standing
– Walking

– Lifting
– Carrying
– Handling Objects

– Hearing
– Speaking
– Traveling

  • In claims involving adults with mental impairments, a statement about your:

– Mental functional limitations
– Capacity to understand, to carry out and remember instructions
– Ability to respond appropriately to supervision, coworkers and pressures in a workplace

Evidence of pain

Decisions about disability claims are also influenced by evidence of the effects of symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, or fatigue on your ability to function. When you apply for Social Security Benefits, the SSA investigates evidence regarding:

  • Your daily activities
  • The location, duration, frequency, and intensity of the pain
  • Precipitating and aggravating factors
  • The type, dosage, effectiveness, and side effects of medication
  • Other treatments for the relief of pain
  • Any measures you have used to relieve pain
  • Other factors concerning your functional limitations due to pain

Arkansas attorneys help with your disability claim

The Martin Law Firm’s Social Security Disability lawyers in Fayetteville, Arkansas, help their clients throughout the application and appeals processes. Contact the Martin Law Firm at 479.442.2244 or online today to schedule a free initial consultation. We take evening and weekend appointments. All work is done on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win compensation for you.

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2059 Green Acres Rd.
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72702

P: 479.442.2244
F: 479.442.0134

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Martin Law Firm is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas and serves clients in and around Springdale, West Fork, Fayetteville, Greenland, Farmington, Prairie Grove, Lincoln and Washington County.

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