The Social Security Administration uses a two-part analysis to evaluate the alleged symptoms of applicants for Michigan disability benefits.
First, the Social Security Administration reviews the “objective medical evidence” – medical signs, laboratory findings, test results and other similar evidence that can be reliably documented – to confirm that a medically determinable impairment could cause the symptoms you claim to have. Once the fact of your symptoms has been verified by objective medical evidence, the Social Security Administration will consider the nature of your symptoms, including the “intensity, persistence, and disabling effects” of your symptoms. At this second step in the symptom review process, the decision-maker must look beyond the objective medical evidence and consider all the evidence in your case, including subjective evidence in the form of your testimony and the testimony of witnesses in your favor. The decision-maker is looking for proof that the extent to which you claim to be disabled by your symptoms is consistent with the evidence as a whole.
This second step in the symptom review process presents you with a golden opportunity to help your case. Your testimony at your Detroit Social Security disability hearing can be powerfully persuasive evidence of the disabling effects of your symptoms if you provide the judge with detailed descriptions and anecdotes about how your symptoms impact your daily life.
If you would like more information on how to prove your symptoms, please visit my home page. I suggest you read the series of articles under the heading “Your disability hearing,” and watch the videos, How the Judge Determines Disability and What Not to Do at Your Hearing.