What is a “Medical Source Statment”?, by John Driskill, Esq.
Clients are often confused when SSA denies their claim even though their doctor wrote a letter saying they were “disabled.” Getting a doctor’s assistance is often a crucial piece of evidence in your favor. However, your doctor’s opinion needs to be consistent with the medical evidence, as well as specific about how your medical conditions limit your ability to function.
A medical source statement (MSS) from your doctor is often the most efficient way to get your doctor’s opinion in a way that helps your case.
An MSS asks a series of very specific questions about your doctor’s opinion of your limitations in sitting, standing, walking or lifting. However, your attorney can also develop an MSS that is specifically tailored to your particular limitations. For example, if you have a condition that causes swelling in your legs, there should be a few questions documenting whether you need to elevate your legs, how high you need to elevate your legs, and how long you need to elevate your legs during the work day. Likewise, if you have a condition that affects use of your hands (such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome), the form should document problems you have reaching, handling, and fingering.
The benefit of having a doctor complete an MSS is two-fold. It is much easier for your doctor to complete one of these forms by checking certain boxes than it is to write a letter explaining your limitations. Thus, it is much more likely your doctor will be able to help your claim. Secondly, an MSS helps the judge understand exactly what limitations your doctor thinks you have related to your medical conditions. For more information on strengthening your Social Security disability claim with doctor’s statements, please contact the experienced disability attorneys at Morgan & Weisbrod.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.