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Subjectivity of a Claimant’s Work Capacity

Phoenix Social Security attorney - man with injured backA Phoenix Social Security attorney would help you understand that the difficulty comes from the limited ability to use lab or clinical techniques to objectively measure symptoms. SSR 96-7p.

A Phoenix Social Security attorney would explain that a doctor at the hearing could address your physical or mental limitations, ability to perform work tasks despite your impairments and the general nature and severity of your symptoms. But a Phoenix Social Security attorney would clarify further that this would still be the opinion of a doctor and professional judgment is still required to establish two key aspects of a patient’s capacity that would comply with Social Security Administration standards:

  • Does the medical diagnosis accurately reflect the patient’s symptoms?
  • Do the medical indicator signs and conclusions consistently reflect symptom-related limitations that the patient has claimed? 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(5)(a), 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527 and SSR 96-8p.

Comparison of Limitations with Others

One important aspect a Phoenix Social Security attorney would illuminate for you is regarding the possibility of comparing your impairments to that of an “average” person. Some people are more limited by symptoms than others, and therefore the Social Security Administration recognizes that it is inappropriate to compare the claimant’s limitations to how the “average” person would respond.

Accounting for Pain Tolerance

By using an example provided by the SSA, a Phoenix Social Security attorney would share an example of the symptoms of low back pain. One person may be capable of sustaining moderate work activity whereas another may only be capable of sustaining light work activity for a short period of time due to differing pain tolerances. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1545(e).

A Phoenix Social Security lawyer would attest to the fact that these individual differences must be considered in making decisions about a claimant’s work capacity.

It is important to have knowledgeable and experienced legal representation in presenting your Social Security disability case at a hearing. To arrange for a consultation with a Phoenix Social Security attorney, call the Schiffman Law Office, P.C. at (602) 235-0539 today.

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