In this article, an experienced Chicago Social Security attorney outlines the criteria used by the Social Security Administration, or SSA, to determine whether or not a claimant’s impairment may be considered “severe.”
Purpose for Step 2
Sequential Evaluation Step 2 was designed to ensure that any impairment claimed by a patient in a disability hearing is verifiable via standard medical methodologies and constitutes a serious restriction on the patient’s ability to perform the duties of a job. Your Chicago Social Security attorney will, in keeping with the purpose for Step 2, wish to emphasize to the SSA that your case meets those specifications.
Severe vs. Nonsevere
A “severe” impairment is one that impacts you sufficiently to lessen your residual functional capacity. That is, it restricts the kinds of work you are still able to perform. If your impairment has such an impact, your Chicago Social Security lawyer may be able to present your situation as a medically determinable impairment that meets that criterion. A nonsevere impairment is one that does not seriously impact your ability to work.
The SSA, as well as your Chicago Social Security attorney, will examine all the symptoms you are experiencing when determining whether your impairment does or does not lessen your residual functional capacity. The cause of your symptoms, whether objective or subjective, must be medically determinable.
If There Is Doubt
Your Chicago Social Security attorney will advise you that the adjudicator will take the process to the next steps if there is ambiguity concerning your capacity to perform at least simple tasks and often the result tends to be a finding of “severe.”
A Chicago Social Security Attorney’s Caveat
Your Chicago Social Security lawyer will remind you, however, that medical determination is an absolute necessity. The condition that produces the symptoms must be verifiable using standard clinical diagnostic tests and supported by findings from laboratory samples taken from the patient. Without this data to support the claim, a finding of disabled may not be forthcoming at this juncture.
Your doctors may or may not agree on the diagnosis, but as long as standard clinical and lab examinations provide sufficient basis for a diagnosis to be made, your condition meets the requisites for “medically determinable” as far as the Social Security Administration and your Chicago Social Security lawyer are concerned.
For Help or More Information
Your Chicago Social Security attorney is a valuable resource for both information and assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.