Already have a MSOL?
Check here and see if it follows PounceLaw’s Best Practices.
First – congratulations! Wanting to follow Best Practices is smart. There is some work involved, but considering what is at stake, it is well worth it.
Here are some Best Practices:
Choose to request a MSOL from a provider that treats you regularly.
The most effective MSOLs are from providers who specialize in treating the impairment that prevents you from working full-time.
If you are disabled because of a mental condition: from a treating psychiatrist or psychologist, or a treating psychiatric nurse (ARNP).
Back or other skeletal injury/condition: from your treating orthopedist.
However, it is helpful to also have an MSOL from your primary care provider because they usually participate in referrals and know about all of your conditions.
Remember to follow through on all recommendations for testing by your provider. The value of a MSOL is based upon not just what is said about your symptoms, but also objective evidence such as MRIs, x-rays, lab reports or physical exams of you.
The MSOL should explain in functional terms what you can and cannot do because of your medical conditions. In short, the provider should not say that “you are disabled” but instead explain how your ability to do work activities is compromised by your conditions.
For example, “Because of patient’s herniated disk in the lumbar spine, he can only stand for 15 minutes at a time and not more than 2 hours in an 8-hour day.”
Remember whether your provider’s statement will support disability will depend upon a number of factors unique to your case. The more specific the provider can be, and the more that the provider’s opinion is supported by other evidence in your medical file, the more persuasive the opinion will be to SSA.