Will a Disabled Parking Placard Help My Disability Case?

October 2, 2023

A disabled parking permit can be a wonderfully convenient aid for a person with a condition that limits their mobility. A disabled parking placard allows someone to park in disabled parking spaces near the entrances of stores, schools, offices and other buildings.

But will it help you win Social Security Disability benefits?

Nash Disability Law Attorney Dan Rosen explains that, “We are often asked this question, and unfortunately, a parking placard will rarely help.”

“In awarding benefits, Social Security has VERY SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS you must meet and its own definition of what ‘disabled’ means,” Rosen explains, “which is almost certainly different from how your state defines being disabled for issuing a handicap parking placard. Social Security does not care if you qualify for a handicap parking permit.”

A disabled parking placard is similar to YOUR DOCTOR SAYING YOU ARE “DISABLED.” In the final analysis, however, the conclusion that someone is “disabled” doesn’t really mean much to the Social Security Administration (SSA) because the SSA says only it has the authority to make that decision.

To win your case, you have to prove that your medical condition creates limitations which prevent you from holding onto a job.


The SSA relies on accurate and complete medical records from doctors, clinics and hospitals to determine how severe a physical or MENTAL CONDITION is.

For a Social Security Disability case, medical evidence takes many forms including bloodwork panels; imaging studies like MRIs, CAT scans and X-rays; physician examination and treatment notes; and mental health records.

A key element to being awarded disability benefits is often your own doctor’s opinion of your limitations, which can be provided on what’s called a “residual functional capacity,” or RFC, form.

When considering your APPLICATION FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS, Social Security will assess your RFC, which is an evaluation of what you can still do despite your impairments.

If considering your age, education, and work experience, your conditions cause you limitations that prevent you from performing any work activity, you can qualify for benefits.

The SSA will not always properly interpret the symptoms and test results in your medical records and develop a clear picture of how severely your conditions may restrict your daily activities including your ability to work.

Medical records alone rarely make those connections. The RFC form will help bridge that gap for the ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE (ALJ) or adjudicator.

“We encourage all our clients to be ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THEIR CASES and provide us with the information we need for success,” Rosen advises. “If you are applying for disability compensation, enlist the support of your physician. If your physician completes a comprehensive RFC form that is consistent with the medical evidence, you have a much stronger case and a much improved chance of being awarded disability benefits.”

As you can see, winning a disability case is not as simple as getting a parking placard or a brief letter from your doctor.

Let the Chicago disability lawyers at Nash work with you to get the disability benefits you have rightfully earned.

To get started give us a call at 312.443.0900 or send us an email by FILLING OUT A FORM HERE ON OUR WEBSITE for a free evaluation of your case.

At Nash Disability Law, we are proud of our 40+ year record of perseverance and advocacy on behalf of our clients who need and deserve strong and caring legal representation.