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What in the world is a Medical Source Statement?

If you going to apply for social security disability or SSI then you need to know what a medical source statement is.  A medical source statement lets a person know their residual functional capacity.   Well, what does residual functional capacity mean?  Residual functional capacity is the ability to engage in normal daily activities taking into account your disabilities.  It is what abilities are left after considering either your mental and/or physical disabilities.  So a medical source statement lets the Social Security Administration know the abilities you have left to do normal daily activities after taking into consideration your disabilities.

Now, the Social Security Administration has its own medical source statement that they use.  However, they have their own consultative examiners fill out the form.  Now, the examiner may have only met you once for a ten-minute consultation.  As a result, the medical source statement may not be as informative or persuasive as one that your own physician or psychiatrist completes.  So what do you do- well you let the Social Security Administration fill out their own form and have your doctors fill out a medical source statement that you submit as additional evidence.

It is important that you try to pick your most sympathetic doctor to fill out the form.  You don’t want a doctor who doesn’t think you are disabled to fill out the form.  You also want to take it with you to your doctor’s appointment and personally request that your doctor complete the form.  This is more effective than just mailing the form- it can get lost or shuffled aside.

Finally, tailor the medical source statement to your disability.  If you have a spinal injury you don’t want a medical source statement that questions the doctor all about your breathing abilities.  I try to tailor each medical source statement to a specific disability.  If you have a mental disability in addition to a physical disability, submit a separate mental medical source statement to your psychiatrist or psychologist.

Submitting a medical source statement that supports your case could make the difference in being approved for social security disability the first time you apply.

Please remember that this is just general information, and everyone’s situation is unique. This article should not be considered legal advice.