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  • Linking Functional Information to Diagnosis and Impairment

    For applicants with mental disorders, DDS examiners look at a person’s ability to function in four primary areas. Your responsibility is to describe the functioning of the individual in as much detail as possible and to document how the person’s illness impairs his or her ability to function and maintain employment at a substantial gainful level.

    Type:
    Article
  • SOAR Success Stories

    The following stories were submitted with permission to the SOAR Technical Assistance Center in response to a call for examples of how Social Security disability benefits have changed the lives of people who were experiencing or at risk for homelessness.

    Type:
    Issue Brief
  • Interviewing for the MSR

    One of the most important tasks for you to accomplish is to make the link between diagnosis and functional impairment so that DDS can fully understand the applicant’s disability. This article discusses how to ask questions that elicit the information you will use to write your Medical Summary Report (MSR).

    Type:
    Article
  • Sample Functional Descriptions

    This article provides example descriptions for the areas of mental functioning. The “effective” functional descriptions clearly link the symptoms of the applicant’s illness with their limitations.

    Type:
    Article
  • SOAR Critical Component: The Medical Summary Report

    The Medical Summary Report (MSR) is SOAR’s signature tool and key to a successful application. It provides a succinct, comprehensive summary of the applicant’s personal and treatment history and its impact on his or her life. It also clearly describes the factors affecting functioning and ability to work.

    Type:
    Article