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How medical records and work history affect SSD claims

For anyone in California seeking disability payments, the first step is to file an application. This is followed by a disability interview. After an application is on file, it's sent to an agency referred to as disability determination services, or DDS. The next step in the SSD application process involves a review of medical records and work history by a disability examiner at a California Disability Determination Services Office.

A disability examiner initially starts determining eligibility for a Social Security Disability claim by gathering an applicant's medical records. This typically involves sending letters to physicians and specialists who treated the claimant along with various hospitals or medical facilities where treatment may have been provided. After all medical information is obtained, the disability examiner usually consults with a physician to determine a claimant's residual functional capacity. RFC is a measure of a claimant's physical capabilities. For instance, a doctor assigned to the case may determine how much weight a claimant can safely lift or carry. Mental abilities and limitations are assessed separately.

Estimated RFC will be compared with what a claimant was able to do previously based on their job requirements. The disability examiner will then determine if a claimant is still capable of doing their job. If they are not, the claimant's education and work history will be used to determine if they are capable of making a living in another way based on their current level of physical and mental functioning. Whether or not a claimant has transferable work skills may also be considered.

Meeting the medical requirements for a Social Security Disability claim can sometimes prove to be a difficult task. An attorney familiar with the SSD claims process may be able to obtain any additional documentation that is required or requested. A lawyer may also file an appeal on behalf of a claimant if a claim is denied by an examiner.

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