When patients apply for Social Security Disability benefits they are saying to the government that they cannot work. The Social Security Administration(SSA) evaluates your SSD case based on the limitations from working. All limitations are divided into two categories from the SSA, physical and mental. There are 7 main physical requirements: sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling.

The main mental requirements are concentration, persistence, pace, memory, understanding, social interaction and adaptation. If the doctor only states that the patient has a severe limitation (e.g. severe RA, severe back pain) Social Security can then quantify that doctor’s statement however they want.

One of the ways a doctor can help a patient obtain Social Security benefits is by translating the patient’s symptoms into numbers rather than using terms like mild, moderate or severe.

Here are some examples of using specific numbers for a SSD claimant’s symptoms:

Lumbar/Cervical Spine Problem

  • The patient can only stand for 15 minutes
  • The patient can only sit for 15 minutes then needs to either stand for 10 minutes or lie down for 30
  • The patient can only lift 3 pounds


Arthritis in hands or Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

  • The patient can only hold 3 pounds
  • The patient can only use their hand(s) for 5 minutes in an hour
  • The patient drops items like an 8 ounce cup of coffee 50% of the time


Migraine Headaches

  • The patient on average has 3 migraine headaches a week lasting
    at least 4 hours

Seizure Disorder

  • The patient had 3 seizures a month with the postictal effects lasting 24

Multiple Sclerosis

  • The patient sleeps 18 hours a day
  • The patient is dizzy for 10 minutes after standing up


Gastrointestinal Problems

  • The patient has 5 to 8 bowel movements a day causing the patient to be in the bathroom 45 minutes at
    a time.

Anxiety Disorder

  • The patient has 2anxiety attacks a day then takes a Xanax and sleeps for 2 hours
  • The patient stays home 90% of the time and only goes to doctor appointments with another person
  • The patient can only leave the house for 2 hours and never alone
  • The patient cannot be around other people or crowds for more than that
  • 15 minutes or he has a panic attack


Bipolar Disorder

  • The patient sleeps for 3 days at a time 2 times a month
  • The patient can only concentrate for more than 15 minutes then needs a 5 minute break
  • The patient is only able to communicate for 15 minutes
  • The patient cannot remember short simple instructions for more than 30 minutes, at which time the instruction then needs to be repeated
  • The patient would be late for work 2 days a week
  • The patient lays in bed every day for 6 hours


Any medical condition that would limit a patient from working a full day

  • The patient would need to take a break every hour for 15 minutes or
  • The patient can only work two days a week
  • The patient must elevate his feet above his heart 50% of the day


These are some common example of statements in the medical records that would help a patient obtain Social Security Disability benefits.

Are you applying for SSD benefits and need assistance? Consider the Law Office of Neil H. Good for your representation. Our office can ensure that you have the proper medical documentation and be here for you each step of the way along your journey for receiving SSD benefits. Contact us online for a free case evaluation or call #(847) 577-4476.