Medically Determinable Impairment

The term “medically determinable impairment” may sound complicated, but the concept of it is simple. Essentially, if a doctor is able to make a diagnosis based on something more than just the patient’s own description of his or her symptoms, the Social Security Administration will decide that the claimant has a medically determinable impairment. For instance, a doctor might diagnose a patient with fibromyalgia by counting tender points. This diagnosis would meet the criteria for medically determinable impairment.  Jacksonville Social Security disability law firm However, there are situations in which the SSA might accept a patient’s description of symptoms as proof of impairment. A Jacksonville Social Security disability law firm will tell you that this could happen in cases where the patient’s description matches a specific diagnosis. For instance, a patient complains of severe headaches and describes symptoms that match the diagnosis of migraine headaches. If the physician cannot find any other cause for the patient’s headaches, the SSA might accept the patient’s description of his or her symptoms. Are Treating Physicians Expected to Know the Exact Legal Definition of Disability? The SSA does not expect treating physicians to know whether or not a person meets the legal criteria for disability. According to the SSA, it is not a physician’s responsibility to decide if a person is disabled. It is considered a legal determination rather than a medical one. The role of the physician is to evaluate what a patient can or cannot do based on his or her impairment. The Social Security Administration’s role is to determine whether or not a person is disabled, according to a Jacksonville Social Security disability lawyer. If you have questions about a medically determinable impairment or any other aspect of your Social Security disability case, you might want to speak with a lawyer from a Jacksonville Social Security disability law firm. Please call the office of disability lawyer John Fagan at 904-278-1000.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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