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How will my doctor evaluate my ability to work?

One important thing that you doctor will do for you is filling out a functional capacity form. This form is extremely long and detailed because the Social Security Administration needs to use this information to evaluate if you are physically capable of working full time. This form becomes absolutely vital in cases that require the testimony of a vocational expert as to whether there are any jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that you can perform in spite of your limitations. The thoroughness and accuracy of this form can determine the success of your case.

Do not be worried about the form missing the nuances of your impairment. The Social Security Administration takes into account any explanatory notes your doctor writes on the form while filling it out. Doctors filling out the form often report that they feel that the form would be incomplete without their additional explanatory notes, and the Social Security Administration gives greater weight to medical opinions with detailed and thorough explanations. Your Social Security disability representative may be able to help explain the form to your doctor if he or she is unfamiliar with it.

Finally, do not be worried if your doctor believes you are capable of working part time or with special accommodations. Most representatives, judges, and doctors believe that anyone can do at least some work, and your doctor’s acknowledgement that you still have some ability to work will not harm your case. Your doctor may recommend that you work part time, or describe special accommodations that would need to be made for you to work (a special break schedule, a place to lie down, the opportunity to work from home if necessary, etc.). This is exactly the type of information that the Social Security Administration can use to grant you benefits.