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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

Ocala Disability Attorneys Discuss Doctors’ Opinions Regarding a Claimant’s Abilities

  • Published: May 20, 2013

What is the criteria for determining the extent of a person’s disability in a Social Security disability case? Although a doctor’s professional opinion is solicited, that opinion will undoubtedly vary based on who you ask. Guidance on these matters can be provided by Ocala disability attorneys.

Ocala Disability Attorneys Discuss Subjectivity When Assessing a Patient’s Capacity to Perform Work Activities Over a Sustained Period

The Social Security Administration’s Code of Federal Regulations addresses the issue of subjectivity, recognizing that claimants are restricted by symptoms which are subjective and hard to quantify [20 C.F.R. § 404.1529(c)(3)]. It is further acknowledged that clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques cannot objectively assess a claimant’s symptoms [SSR 96-7p].

What a Doctor May Be Asked to Assess

A doctor may be asked to weigh in on the following:

  • the type and extent of a patient’s symptoms
  • what the patient is still capable of doing in spite of these impairments
  • any mental or physical limitations

A doctor’s professional expertise is invoked to first evaluate whether the patient’s symptoms have a medical cause, and then whether the patient’s symptom-related impairments are fairly consistent with the medical evidence [42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(5)(a), 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527 and SSR 96-8p].

Comparisons to the “Average”

The Social Security Administration avoids employing the “average man” as a gauge to determine a claimant’s abilities. They recognize that certain symptoms have greater impact on some individuals more than others. The SSA cites the example of a low back disorder that affects two people to varying degrees, with one person able to perform sustained work activity much more easily than the other [20 C.F.R. § 404.1545(e)]. Differences among individuals’ pain thresholds and coping abilities need to be examined.

Assistance Is Available

A physician’s opinion plays a significant part in your disability case. Contact the Ocala disability attorneys at CJ Henry Law Firm at 352-304-5300 for help answering any questions you may have.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to help you
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