A series of articles emphasizing practical
knowledge you can't find in practice guides
and interviews with experts who share
their techniques for effective and efficient
case management

 

How To Do It: Articles, Interviews &
Practice Tips

Articles emphasizing practical knowledge you can't find in practice guides

People Who Made A Difference
Profiles of people who changed workers’ compensation law.

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Letters to the Editors

Meet the Editors
• Warren Schneider
• Marjory Harris


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HARRIS:
What type of records do you find useful to obtain and review in Social Security cases?


CRAW: The most useful are medical records from
treating sources that address the claimant’s
allegations of medical impairments that create
disability. If a claim is made about orthopedic issues,
you would want to have records from a treating
physician, hospital or clinic that show these issues
were diagnosed and treated medically. Similarly, if a
claimant alleges depression, anxiety, agoraphobia,
etc., you would want evidence from a treating
psychiatrist, psychologist, LCSW, therapist, etc., that
demonstrate that the claimant has sought help for
these problems.

Most important for a claim is to secure records from
sources that corroborate the nature and severity of
the claimant’s allegations. Records that show a
longitudinal history of examinations, diagnoses,
treatment attempts, medication attempts, surgeries,
in-patient care, hospitalizations and opinions as to
prognoses are all important.

Medical records used in workers’ compensation
cases are very helpful, even though such records are usually restricted to work-related injuries and factors of disability and generally do not address illnesses or injuries that are not related to the claimant’s employment.

Obtain records from sources that corroborate the nature and severity of the claimant’s allegations.

 


It is important to remember that Social Security claims address all of the individual’s functional capacities. Each element of diminution in capacity – whether mental or physical - is important to consider. An employer’s statements about accommodations,
records that reflect an individual’s attempts at
physical therapy, need for home health care, or
failing at employment attempts – all such records are
helpful in proving the claimant’s functional limitations.

 

It is important to remember that Social Security claims
address all of the
individual’s functional
capacities.

 


HARRIS: Do you have a special method for
reviewing or analyzing records?

 

CRAW: Yes. First, I review the records to determine
the exact nature and severity of the claimant’s verified
medical condition.

Second, I compare the injuries or illnesses against
the Social Security “Listings” of disabling medical
conditions to determine if the medical evidence
shows that the claimant’s condition Meets or Equals
a Listing. (These Listings are available from many
sources -- NOSSCR, West, James Publishing or the
SSA itself)

Once I complete this second step, I determine what,
if any, medical evidence supplementation is
necessary to put forth the claimant’s case.


Next Page >

Claimant Must Have a Medically Determinable Severe Impairment

Listing of Impairments
How to Use Subpoenaed Records
in Social Security Cases
Frederick George Craw specializes in
Social Security and employment law. In this
interview with Marjory Harris, he explains
how he uses subpoenaed records to prove
up his clients’ cases.
> Analyzing Surveillance Videos
> Remembering Barry. J. Williams
> Interview with Frederick George Craw
> Interview with Steve Chapman
> Smoking Gun