Severity is the second step of the sequential evaluation process. To move past this step, you must have a medically determinable impairment, and that impairment must be considered severe. Your Oklahoma City disability attorney will therefore need to go over your symptoms, medical records, and work history.
Medically Determinable Impairment
A diagnosis from a doctor generally indicates that you have a medically determinable impairment, even if more than one doctor has offered a diagnosis and their opinions differ. Your Oklahoma City disability attorney will explain to you that you do not need to have one cohesive diagnosis in order to have a medically determinable impairment. It is more important that tests and reports show a clear impairment regardless of what it is classified as. Be clear with your Oklahoma City disability lawyer about any subjective symptoms you have, as these symptoms will go to proving that a medically determinable impairment exists.
No Medically Determinable Impairment
If you have no medically determinable impairment, you will not be found to be disabled. If there is a question as to the presence of a medically determinable impairment, the SSA must find in your favor. As your Oklahoma City disability attorney will explain in more detail, this means that the SSA must err on the side of impairment if it is not clear.
Severe vs. Non-Severe
Once it is determined that you have a medically determinable impairment, the SSA will assess the severity of this impairment. It is important to let your Oklahoma City disability lawyer know all the jobs you have held in the past, as the severity of your impairment is largely based on your ability to do past work. Your residual functional capacity (RFC) is a measurement of the capability you have retained to complete the requirements of work. As your Oklahoma City disability attorney will explain, if your RFC is diminished as a result of your impairment, then this impairment will be considered severe. Additionally, if the SSA cannot determine whether your RFC is reduced due to your impairment, your claim will automatically advance to Step Three of the disability evaluation.
Working With an Attorney
The severity step is based on a complex assessment of your symptoms, medical history, and ability to work. Your Oklahoma City disability attorney understands this assessment and knows the best ways to navigate the system. Call Ramona Hanson today at 405-330-1849.