Medically Determinable Impairment

The term “medically determinable impairment” may sound complicated, but the concept of it is simple. Essentially, if a doctor is able to make a diagnosis based on something more than just the patient’s own description of his or her symptoms, the Social Security Administration will decide that the claimant has a medically determinable impairment.

For instance, a doctor might diagnose a patient with fibromyalgia by counting tender points. This diagnosis would meet the criteria for medically determinable impairment.
 Jacksonville Social Security disability law firm
However, there are situations in which the SSA might accept a patient’s description of symptoms as proof of impairment. A Jacksonville Social Security disability law firm will tell you that this could happen in cases where the patient’s description matches a specific diagnosis. For instance, a patient complains of severe headaches and describes symptoms that match the diagnosis of migraine headaches. If the physician cannot find any other cause for the patient’s headaches, the SSA might accept the patient’s description of his or her symptoms.

Are Treating Physicians Expected to Know the Exact Legal Definition of Disability?

The SSA does not expect treating physicians to know whether or not a person meets the legal criteria for disability. According to the SSA, it is not a physician’s responsibility to decide if a person is disabled. It is considered a legal determination rather than a medical one. The role of the physician is to evaluate what a patient can or cannot do based on his or her impairment. The Social Security Administration’s role is to determine whether or not a person is disabled, according to a Jacksonville Social Security disability lawyer.

If you have questions about a medically determinable impairment or any other aspect of your Social Security disability case, you might want to speak with a lawyer from a Jacksonville Social Security disability law firm. Please call the office of disability lawyer John Fagan at 904-278-1000.

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