Most people applying for Social Security disability have some sort of firm diagnosis. For example, if you have back problems, your doctor may have shown you an MRI report documenting a herniated or bulging disc. If you have heart issues you may have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease. And if you struggle with mental health problems, you may have been diagnosed as being bi-polar, or having PTSD, or anxiety disorder.
When you get to your hearing, however, you should not rely on these labels as you explain to the judge why you contend that you no longer have the capacity for “substantial gainful activity” (i.e., work).
First, understand that many times the label used by one doctor might be different than that used by another. In my practice, for example, I frequently represent clients with mental health issues who have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and/or bi-polar disorder – all by different physicians or psychologists. One medical provider may choose the label “depression” while a second doctor may choose the label “bi-polar.”
Similarly, I have seen multiple doctors read the same MRI report and come to different conclusions. One doctor may see a herniation, while another may see a bulge or an extrusion. Continue reading →