Medical Records Speak Louder Than Words: What It Takes to Win a Social Security Disability Claim Medical Records Speak Louder Than Words: What It Takes to Win a Social Security Disability Claim

by Melissa Thomas

Columbia, MO – February 28, 2012 -- To SSA, the word “disabled” is not a medical term. This is the number one reason that the agency will not accept your doctor’s pronouncement that you are “disabled.” To SSA, being disabled is not a “diagnosis.” Under SSA law, the word “disabled” is an “administrative” or “agency” conclusion that it reaches based on its review of the medical evidence. How SSA reviews medical evidence and what conclusions it can draw from the medical evidence is dictated by its rules. Thus, SSA may accept your doctor’s opinion as to what is wrong with you (e.g. bulging discs) but feels free to interpret your doctor’s diagnoses in light of its rules. So never settle for a letter from your doctor that simply says that you are disabled. You need more.

"Sincere and passionate testimony can make great courtroom drama. Unfortunately, such testimony does not win a Social Security disability case. You can tell the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you are too sick to work. Your family and all of your friends can state under oath that you are too sick to work. Your doctor can too. However in a Social Security disability case, the most persuasive “testimony” is not offered by a person but an inanimate object – medical records. If your medical records don’t corroborate what is being said then it will be as though nothing was said at all." explains attorney, Alisa M. Dotson of Bassett Law Firm, LLC.

SSA has its own way of looking at things. Even the way it talks about disability is different so you need to know how to speak the agency’s language.

Attorney Alisa M. Dotson outlines a plan to make sure your medical records are saying the right thing about you and how your medical records should say the right things about your treating physician.

Alisa Dotson notes, "The horror stories that you may have heard that it can take years to win a Social Security disability case are often quite true. But the journey to an award can be shortened by starting with the right records because, in the end, medical records speak louder than your words."

Read more by visiting Bassett Law Firm's blog at:

About Bassett Law Firm LLC:

Since 2004, Bassett Law Firm LLC ( has successfully provided quality service to thousands of Social Security Disability beneficiaries, while adding two new practice areas - assistance to veterans in their pursuit of benefits from the Veterans Administration and health crisis management (Missouri only). Bassett Law Firm offers potential clients the same resources as many large law firms, without sacrificing the personalized focus and attention that comes with a boutique law firm staff.

Whether a client has been denied Social Security Disability/SSI benefits, or has never filed, the Bassett Law Firm helps clients get the benefits they rightly deserve.

Helping plan for your family's future when challenged by a serious injury, debilitating illness or aging – Health Crisis Management is our focus.

Our attorneys secure legal rights to benefits through quality representation for our veterans. No matter the level of appeal, no matter your location - Bassett Law Firm can help.

Source: Bassett Law Firm LLC


Melissa J. Thomas

Director of Marketing and Client Relations

Bassett Law Firm, LLC


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Melissa Thomas

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