Aside from the actual medical records from your claim, one of the best pieces of evidence you can have is a Medical Source Statement from your treating doctor.
As I explain to my own clients, your medical records identify what your medical diagnoses are. However, the medical records do not necessarily indicate how you are now limited due to your medical conditions. For example, your medical records may demonstrate that you have a herniated disc in your neck or back. However, the medical records may not indicate that you will have difficulty sitting, standing, walking, bending, stooping, crouching or crawling. The medical records may not indicate that you are going to be severely restricted in the amount of weight you can lift and carry given your condition. That’s where the Medical Source Statement comes in. The MSS is designed for your medical provider to “bridge the gap” between the diagnoses in your medical records and the resulting impairments you have.
Keep in mind that these assessments are not required in any case. Yet, the assessments carry great weight because they allow the Judge or adjudicator reviewing your claim to get a better idea of your restrictions and limitations.
They are also useful in examining the vocational expert who may be testifying at the hearing in your disability claim. Let’s assume that your doctor notes that you must rest for 30 minutes with every 30 minutes of exertional activity. If you ask the vocational expert if there are many jobs that will allow a 30 minute break with every 30 minutes of exertional activity, the VE is likely to respond that there are not many jobs that will allow such frequent rest periods for such a duration.
Free Social Security Disability Forms for Physical Disabilities
Here is a downloadable PDF of a free 4-page Medical Source Statement of Ability to Do Work-Related Activities (Physical):
- Download PDF (right click, save as)