What Medical Conditions should I include on my Application for Benefits?

Posted June 18, 2015 by Premier Disability Services, LLC® When filing an application for Social Security Disability benefits, a claimant is required to list their medical conditions.  Claimants sometimes make the mistake of only listing the medical conditions they feel are disabling.  In fact, it is important for a claimant to list all of their medical conditions that are expected to last, or have lasted, for twelve months or more.  The reason this is important is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) must consider all of a claimant’s impairments and their related symptoms and determine how they would affect their ability to function in a work setting.  SSA will consider the claimant’s impairments and their related symptoms and formulate what is called the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC).

The RFC is defined as the most you can do despite your limitations.  Once SSA determines the limitations for a Claimant’s RFC, they will compare those limitations with the claimant’s past relevant work to determine whether they can perform that work.  If they cannot, the analysis then turns to whether there are other jobs that exist in the national economy in significant numbers.  The greater the limitations included in the RFC, the better chance that person will be found disabled.

For example, we commonly find that claimants develop depression and anxiety due to their overall poor medical condition.  While they may not have had a significant history of mental illness, these conditions are potentially associated with limitations in social functioning, maintaining concentration, persistence, and pace, and the ability to perform activities of daily living.  Even mild limitations in these areas should be accounted for in the claimant’s RFC and could potentially eliminate their ability to perform certain jobs.

At Premier, we feel it is better to be over-inclusive with a claimant’s limitations when we complete their application since the combined effect of a person’s impairments is another factor that must be taken into account.  For claimants who are filing on their own, the considerations detailed above are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when starting a claim.

By: Devon Brady of Premier Disability Services, LLC®