If you are applying for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, you will need to provide medical evidence to support your claim. This evidence can include medical records, doctor’s letters, and medical reports.
One of the most important (but still optional) pieces of medical evidence is a medical source statement (MSS). An MSS is a letter or form filled out by your doctor that describes your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work or function.
The MSS can be an important part of your SSDI claim because it provides the Social Security Administration (SSA) with an independent medical opinion about your the functional limitations caused by your impairments. The SSA will consider the MSS when they make a decision about your claim.
What is a medical source statement?
A medical source statement (MSS) is a letter from your doctor that describes your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work. The MSS should be written on your doctor’s letterhead and should include the following information:
- Your name
- Your doctor’s name and contact information
- The date of the letter
- A description of your medical condition
- How your medical condition affects your ability to work
- Your doctor’s opinion about your ability to perform work related activities
Why is a medical source statement important?
The MSS can be an important part of your SSDI claim because it provides the SSA with a medical opinion from a treating source regarding your disability. Assuming that the MSS is prepared by one of your physicians and is not radically divergent from the contents of your records, the SSA will consider the MSS when they make a decision about your claim.
The SSA has a set of medical listings that describe different types of disabilities. If your medical condition meets or equals one of the medical listings, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits.
Even if your medical condition does not meet or equal one of the medical listings, you may still be eligible for SSDI benefits if your doctor can provide evidence that your medical condition prevents you from doing any substantial gainful activity (SGA). The SSA will consider your age, education, and work experience when they determine if you can do SGA.
How to get a medical source statement
You can ask your doctor to write a MSS for you. When you ask your doctor for a MSS, be sure to provide them with all of the information they need to write a complete and accurate letter, as well as insight on the importance of listing not only your diagnoses but your functional limitations.
What happens if I don’t have a medical source statement?
If you don’t have a medical source statement, you may still be able to get SSDI benefits. However, an MSS can make the path easier because they speak directly to the reasons your are unable to work.
How to improve your chances of getting approved for SSDI
There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting approved for SSDI:
- Make sure you have all of the required medical evidence. This includes medical records, doctor’s letters, and medical reports.
- Get an MSS from your doctor. The MSS should be written on your doctor’s letterhead and should include all of the required information.
- Respond to SSA requests promptly. The SSA has a deadlines for filing and appealing disability claims. If you miss a deadline, complications can present real setbacks.
- Get help from an experienced SSDI attorney. An SSDI attorney can help you understand the SSDI process and represent you at your hearing. Call Attorney Thomas O’Brien at 770-579-0799 for assistance.