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Social Security Disability Terms Glossary

CaveyLaw.com > Resources > Social Security Disability Terms Glossary

Social Security Disability Terms Glossary

Below you will find a list of Social Security Disability Terms to help better educate you on the Social Security Disability process.

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Acceptable Medical Source

An acceptable medical source is a person or institution who is recognized by the Social Security Administration as a person who can provide medical evidence to support your disability. The acceptable medical sources include licensed medical and osteopathic physicians including: psychiatrists, psychologist, optometrists, podiatrists, and speech language pathologists. Acupuncturists and chiropractors aren’t really recommended as acceptable medical sources. Additionally, the medical source must provide medical evidence that establishes the existing severity of your disabling condition. Medical records should include:
  1. Your medical history
  2. The doctor’s clinical findings
  3. Relevant laboratory findings
  4. Diagnosis
  5. Treatment history including a response to treatment and the prognosis of the outcome.
  6. A statement of your residual functional capabilities.
If your physician says that you are unable to work, that isn’t going to be good enough for Social Security purposes. Why? The Social Security Administration is interested in knowing about your physical disability that would include limits on your ability to:
  1. Sit
  2. Stand
  3. Walk
  4. Carry
  5. Handle Objects
  6. Hearing and Speaking
Your medical records should also comment on your mental disability. That includes your ability to:
  1. Understand
  2. Remember instructions
  3. Carry out tasks
  4. Respond appropriately to supervision at work.

Activities of Daily Living

The activities of daily living are simply those activities that you do on a daily basis. Think of what you do from the time that you get up in the morning to the time that you go to bed. These will include: bathing; dressing; cooking; cleaning; running errands; watching TV. You are going to be asked to file activity of daily living forms as part of your Social Security Disability application. It is crucial that you understand how to properly answer the activity of daily living forms or you can destroy your claim. Nancy Cavey, a Social Security Disability and long term disability attorney has written the book The Smart Long Term Disability Consumer Guide for Preparing for Your Statement and Field Visit. Don’t be misled by the title, for advice about how to answer questions about your restrictions and limitations mistakes number six through twenty two are applicable to Social Security Disability claims. To order your free, no obligation copy of our guide  click on the book image to the right!

Administrative Law Judge

Did you know that they administrative law judge will determine, at the third step of the Social Security Disability claims process your claim for Social Security Disability  benefits. If your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits and Request for Reconsideration is denied, then your case is heard by an Administrative Law Judge.

Remember, they are a judge! They will ask questions on evidence, your testimony and they will decide whether or not you are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits.

An Administrative Law Judge will review your file and your testimony from yourself, and a medical and vocational experts. Social Security Disability hearings are like trials. You wouldn’t go to a criminal trial without having a lawyer. One of the wisest steps you can take is to hire a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer to represent you in front of the Administrative Law Judge. Statistics prepared by the Social Security Administration show that having representation at your hearing improves your chances of receiving the Social Security Disability benefits that you are entitled to.
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