Navigating the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability claim process can be overwhelming, with countless forms, medical records, and potential hurdles. But amidst the complexity, one crucial element can significantly impact your claim’s outcome: written restrictions.

What are written restrictions?

These are limitations documented by your doctor outlining your inability to perform specific work-related activities due to your disability. They can address various aspects, including:

  • Physical limitations: Lifting weights, standing for extended periods, sitting for extended periods, using specific tools or equipment.
  • Mental limitations: Concentrating for prolonged periods, interacting with others, tolerating stressful situations.
  • Cognitive limitations: Remembering instructions, following complex tasks, managing time effectively.

Why are written restrictions so important?

While medical records and diagnoses are essential, they paint an incomplete picture. Written restrictions bridge the gap by translating your medical condition’s impact into concrete terms relevant to your ability to work. They serve as:

  • Objective evidence: They provide quantifiable limitations beyond subjective descriptions, strengthening your claim.
  • Specificity: They pinpoint the exact activities you cannot perform, demonstrating the severity of your limitations.
  • Credibility: Coming from your doctor, they carry significant weight and credibility in the eyes of the SSA.

Tips for getting strong written restrictions:

  • Communicate clearly with your doctor: Discuss your work limitations and how your disability impacts them. Provide specific examples of activities you struggle with.
  • Request specific and detailed restrictions: Vague statements like “limited mobility” are less effective. Aim for concrete limitations like “cannot lift more than 10 pounds” or “cannot stand for more than 30 minutes without severe pain.”
  • Get multiple restrictions, if applicable: If your disability affects multiple areas of your work ability, seek restrictions for each limitation.
  • Follow up with your doctor regularly: As your condition evolves, update your restrictions to reflect your current limitations.


  • Written restrictions are not a guarantee of approval, but they significantly strengthen your claim.
  • Seek guidance from an experienced disability attorney or advocate who can help you obtain effective written restrictions and navigate the claim process effectively.

Don’t underestimate the power of written restrictions in your SSA disability claim. By ensuring they are clear, specific, and comprehensive, you increase your chances of a successful outcome and receiving the benefits you deserve.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with an attorney or advocate specializing in Social Security disability for personalized guidance on your specific situation.