How functional limitations are evaluated

| Apr 10, 2020 | blog, social security disability

In Indiana, disabled people who are not able to return to work may file claims for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security disability benefits depending on whether they have accumulated enough work credits to qualify. When the Social Security Administration receives claims for SSDI or SSI, it will evaluate claimants’ functional limitations to determine whether to approve their applications for benefits.

The SSA will consider the degree to which an applicant’s disabling condition impacts his or her ability to stand, sit, carry, lift, reach, interact, remember and perform other work-related activities. The purpose of the Social Security Administration’s evaluation of the applicant’s functional limitations is to determine whether they prevent the applicant from returning to his or her former type of work or from working at a different type of job for which the applicant is qualified.

To determine the functional limitations of an applicant, the disability examiner will ask for the applicant’s medical records from each provider the applicant identified during his or her disability interview. The examiner will also send questionnaires to the applicant and third parties, asking how the applicant’s disabling condition impairs his or her ability to perform the tasks of his or her job. The applicant’s former employers might be contacted as well.

People who have suffered disabling injuries or illnesses might want to submit claims for SSDI or SSI. An experienced disability lawyer may help people to understand the types of medical records and evidence to submit to the SSA to increase their chances of being approved for benefits. If someone’s claim is denied, a lawyer might represent the individual through the appeals process and the disability hearing that takes place before an administrative law judge. While many claims are initially denied, more are approved at the hearing level.