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What Does the Social Security Administration Mean by “Medically Determinable Impairment”?

  • Published: August 1, 2011

One of the criteria that Social Security Administration sets for being found disabled is having a “medically determinable impairment.” This term just refers to any impairment from a medical condition that is recognized by the medical community and can be diagnosed from objective evidence. Objective evidence can include x-rays, MRIs, or lab results, but it can also include physical tests. Basically, the doctor just needs to be relying on more than just your description of your symptoms to make his diagnosis.

That’s not to say that describing your symptoms is not important. Some disabilities, especially those involving ligaments and muscle pain, are impossible to positively identify with objective evidence alone. Your description of your symptoms could point to several “medically determinable impairments,” and your doctor might diagnose you using objective data to rule out the ones you don’t have.

You should let your doctor do his job and not worry about what the Social Security Administration defines as “disabled.” Ultimately, your disability status is a legal decision reserved for the Social Security Administration, and the Social Security Administration does not assume that a medical professional like your doctor would possess such legal expertise. As long as your doctor gives a thorough and accurate evaluation of your condition and gives an opinion about the restrictions your condition places on your activity, you should be fine.

If you have any questions about the Social Security disability program or have been denied benefits and need a hearing, call Ocala Social Security disability attorney CJ Henry today for a free consultation.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to
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