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Social Security and Severe/Non-Severe Impairments


The mere existence of an impairment is not enough for the SSA to decide it is severe, and your claim will be denied if the SSA decides that your impairment, or combination of impairments, is not severe.


How To Prove Impairments Are Severe?


To prove you have a severe impairment, you must provide medical evidence that shows that your impairment significantly impacts your ability to do work-related activities. Additionally, if the Social Security decides that your impairments are not severe on their own, they still must look at  them as a whole to see how they affect your ability to work.


In order to help me explain how this works, here is an examply. Suppose a claimant suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anxiety and mild depression. The SSA decided that in light of the submitted medical evidence, the impairments were, individually, not severe. This is because the claimant was using a combination of medication, physical therapy, and psychotherapy to manage the symptoms. However, the SSA further found that the claimant experienced the following documented symptoms stemming from her impairments:




impaired memory

impaired concentration

Anger issues

muscle pain,

gastro-intestinal issues.


The SSA may conclude that the combination of these symptoms have more than a small impact on your ability to perform work-related activities and can classify them as severe.


Please contact me today for a Free Consultation and an attorney will answer your questions today and provide you with sound advice.


Our office serves SSDI & SSI clients in: Lowell, Andover, Dracut, Haverhill, Lawrence, North Andover, Essex, Lynn, Medford, Malden, Tewksbury, Wilmington, Billerica, North Reading, Reading, Georgetown, Tyngsboro, Westford, Ayer, Concord, Peabody, Methuen, Chelmsford, Nashua NH, Manchester NH, Salem NH, and Derry NH.

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