We recently represented “Donald” who was injured on the job when attempting to lift a heavy object. Donald’s injury required surgery. Luckily for Donald, his injury was covered by worker’s compensation so it paid for the surgery. After Donald did not recover as expected, he filed for Social Security Disability.
At some point during the process, however, Donald’s worker’s compensation insurer required he take a Functional Capacity Exam to determine whether or not he could return to his previous work. The FCE found that Donald was capable of working at the same physical level as before his injury. Clearly, this FCE did not support Donald’s claim for disability benefits – where we must prove that Donald’s limitations prevent him from performing any work. Simply put, this type of evidence hurts Donald’s claim.
The question is this – Do we have to submit this unfavorable worker’s compensation report to SSA even though it does not help Donald’s claim?
The answer is YES!
SSA has an “all evidence” policy that you and your representative must follow. This means that all evidence obtained in your case, even if it is unfavorable, must be submitted to SSA on your claim.
But, there is hope.
If you have unfavorable evidence from a worker’s comp doctor or any other doctor, you should promptly advise your attorney so that an effective strategy can be developed to minimize the negative evidence.
In some cases, one strategy we employ is to have your own doctor prepare a letter detailing why the negative evidence is wrong and/or problems with the methods, technique or conclusions of the negative evidence. Other strategies may be appropriate or required depending on your specific case.
If you have a worker’s compensation claim or other negative evidence that you must submit to SSA, you should seek representation from a skilled and knowledgeable SSA attorney to help in your disability claim. Our team would love to help – give us a call.