The proof required by SSA

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will want to see the following two-step proof of your pain and other symptoms:

  1. You have:
    1. a medically determinable impairment
    2. that can cause the symptoms you allege, and
  2. Your symptoms
    1. are reasonably consistent with the objective evidence, and
    2. reasonably consistent with other evidence in the record, and are therefore credible, and
    3. limit your capacity for work to the degree alleged.

The first step presents primarily medical issues on which there must be medical evidence in the record.

The second step presents medical opinion issues on which your attorney will need to seek medical source statements from your doctors concerning your limitations and matters subject to proof by testimony from you and lay witnesses at the hearing.  For example, if pain is the primary cause of your functional limitations, then virtually all the testimony at your hearing will be about your pain.