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A Look At Items Used As Evidence When Determining You Have A Psychological Disability

In an average situation, a physical disability is the primary reason someone decides to file for Social Security Disability benefits. For these people, their symptoms are often more obvious, such as walking with a limp or toting an oxygen tank. However, if you have a disability that is psychological, you can have a harder time proving your disability to an administrative law judge during your claim. There are several different ways a Social Security judge will use provided evidence to determine that you are actually disabled and unable to work because of your psychiatric issue. Here is a look at some of the evidence that may be used during your case. 

Your Prior Work History 

Prior work history is important with every disability case, but when your disability is psychological, it can become even more important. The judge will look at your prior work history to determine if your psychological state affects your ability to perform jobs you normally do. Additionally, they could:

  • Look at the consistency of employment from your past and gaps in employment due to your illness
  • Contact prior employers to provide witness testimony about their experience with you as an employee
  • Make recommendations about jobs you could possibly perform based on your work history

Treatment Facility and Provider Notes 

If you have ever been admitted to a psychiatric facility for your condition, everything that you did in the facility during treatment could be used as evidence for your disability claim. When admitted as a patient in a psychiatric treatment place, the staff commonly take notes on your behavior, moods, and even the consistency of your moods. All of the information from observations that took place during your stay as a patient could be used to determine the likelihood that you are telling the truth about your condition. 

Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire

When you apply for Social Security Disability, one of the pieces of paperwork you will be required to fill out is the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) questionnaire. This document allows you to fill in general information about your daily activities, from dressing and eating to doing chores or spending time outdoors. This questionnaire has heavy bearing in a disability claim that comes from an individual with a proposed psychiatric issue because their symptoms may not always be so obvious. Therefore, it is best to have your attorney assist you with filling out this paperwork right from the start.