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Social Security will not “connect the dots” for your disability claim

I frequently talk with people who have applied for Social Security disability. When I ask them why they are unable to work, they often respond “I have been diagnosed with _____.”

Sometimes the diagnosis is just a quick answer to my question. But often, as the conversation continues, there is a belief that, given the diagnosis, it is self-evident that they have symptoms preventing ongoing employment.

But that is not at all how a Social Security disability claim works. Social Security will not “connect the dots” from your diagnosis, to your symptoms, to your functional limitations.

The person claiming disability benefits has the burden to prove the links between the diagnosis, the symptoms, and the resultant functional limitations that prevent employment.

Each element (diagnosis, symptoms, limitations), must be proved.

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