A Fresno disability attorney will advise you that objective findings are extremely important because, in effect, they determine the extent of possibilities. However, it is generally true that for an individual who has an impairment that does not equal or meet the Social Security Administration’s particular medical findings (Listing of Impairments), his or her capacity for work cannot be determined solely by looking at the medical findings. For instance, it is acknowledged by the SSA that an absence of correlation exists between joint function and x-ray evidence. 66 Fed. Reg. 58,017 (2001). Likewise, it has been concluded by research that no correlation exists between lumbar disability and range of motion. See Parks, et al., “A Comparison of Lumbar Range of Motion and Functional Ability Scores in Patients with Low Back Pain,” Spine, Vol 28, No. 4, pp. 380-384, 2003.
How should forming an opinion concerning a patient’s ability to perform activities related to work be approached?
A Fresno disability attorney knows that the best plan of action is to visit with the patient, andget an opinion from the patient concerning his or her ability to perform activities related to work. The attorney would then exercise professional judgment and make a determination as to the consistency between his knowledge of the patient and his or her impairments, and the patient’s stated limitations.
Should a patient’s description of his or her limitations simply be endorsed?
No, because that would be abdicating the exercise of professional judgment. Sometimes patients report symptoms that simply cannot be realistically attributed to either a medical diagnosis or medication side effects. Likewise, some patients describe limitations so serious they cannot possibly be attributed to the patient’s medical findings, impairments, personality and history.
If you have questions about Social Security disability you would like to discuss with a competent, experienced and knowledgeable Fresno disability attorney, please contact us.