5 Social Security Disability Medical Tips You Need To Know

1. Choose the right doctor / doctors: specialists are important.

Looking for a good doctor can be difficult depending on where you live and what type of medical insurance you have. Your Social Security Disability claim will be primarily based on your medical treatment and your medical records. Comprehensive medical treatment is essential, top rated physicians and hospitals keep more thorough records, and provide better medical care to their patients. Often top rated doctors and hospitals accept the same insurance plans as lesser rated ones, so do your homework and find the best doctors you can, it’s good for you and your disability claim. Of course a good primary care physician (PCP) is essential; they will be the one referring you to a specialist. As the old saying goes “birds of a feather flock together”, top doctors tend to associate with other top doctors, and you should always seek out a specialist. If you suffer from arthritis, find a good rheumatologist. If you have heart and circulation problems you need to be treated by a Cardiologist. Back or knee pain…you need a neurosurgeon or orthopedic specialist; just taking pain medicine from your PCP does not look as good in your records; judges and adjudicators often treat lack of specialty care as an indication that your condition is not serious. Here is a guide to finding the right doctor. http://health.usnews.com/top-doctors/articles/2011/07/26/how-to-find-the-right-doctor.

2. Establish a good relationship with your Doctors.

Once you have found a good doctor, it is very important to see them regularly. Always keep scheduled appointments and be on time. Keep a journal or make a list so that you remember to tell your doctor important information and save time. Always be courteous to your doctor and their staff, even if they keep you waiting. If there is a billing problem with your insurance, stay calm and try to deal with your insurance company, don’t get upset with your doctor’s office. Good patients get good medical care; good medical care is good for your disability claim.

Applying for Social Security Disability? Here is some more useful information.

3. Take prescribed medication as directed and keep track of side effects.

When your doctor / doctors prescribe medications, it’s very important that you take them as directed. If you can not afford a certain medicine tell your doctor, they may be able to prescribe a less expensive option or guide you to a drug manufacture program that can assist you. Not taking your medication as prescribed can have a negative effect on your disability claim. For example: if you suffer from a seizure disorder but are not taking your medication as prescribed and continue to have disabling seizures; a judge or adjudicator may conclude that your seizures are well controlled by medication and not a serious condition. If you are taking your medication as prescribed and still having disabling seizures there will be proof (your lab test results) that your condition is serious and NOT controllable by medication. This is true for many conditions that MAY be controllable with medication. It is also very important that you keep track of the side effects of your medications. Often your medications side effects are as disabling as the illness itself. It is very important to tell your doctor about any side effects that can interfere with your ability to work. For example: drowsiness, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, unable to sleep, etc. so that they can be noted in your records. Here is more information about medication side effects.

4. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

Many people who are disabled and unable to work suffer from mental illnesses as well as their physical illness. When your disability claim is being examined Social Security has to consider EVERY condition that affects your ability to work full time. If you have depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues that affect your ability to work full time it is very important that you seek mental health treatment. Your primary care physician should not be treating your mental health conditions if they are severe enough to interfere with your ability to work. Treatment and records from a mental health specialist such as a psychiatrist or psychologist indicating the limitations your mental health conditions cause you from working full time can greatly assist you with your disability claim. Unfortunately mental illness can have a negative stigma attached to it, don’t let that keep you from getting the treatment you need; it could be the difference in winning your case.

5. Make sure your doctors know you are applying for Social Security Disability.

Don’t be shy or embarrassed to tell your doctor that you are pursuing a disability claim. Your doctors need to know so that they can assist you with your claim. If you have an attorney, they can provide your doctor with forms to complete that can help your claim. These medical source statements are very important; they allow your doctors to give a professional opinion about your limitations. LIMITATIONS are what make you disabled NOT medical conditions, deceases or illnesses. Your doctor’s opinion must be supported by your medical records, and a doctor who is aware that you are pursuing a disability claim can better document your limitations, medication side effects, and test results to support their opinion. Common things that would not be critical to your medical treatment, but very critical to your disability limitations may be ignored and not recorded in your medical records if your doctor is unaware of your disability claim. This is especially true if you ever have to go to an emergency room for treatment. Emergency room records often only focus on the emergency, and “boxes can get checked” on standard forms that could conflict with your disability claim. This is less likely to occur if the treatment providers are aware of your situation, so be sure to let them know all your limitations and mental conditions as well as your disability status.

If you are disabled and unable to work, don’t take chances with your claim. Our SSD attorneys are here to help, let our experience work for you. We never charge a fee or cost unless we get your Social Security Disability claim approved, so that you can afford to be represented by an attorney. Ask yourself this, can you afford NOT to have an attorney represent your interest when your future is at stake? Social Security Regulations are complex, for a free consultation call us today 1-888-WE MEAN IT, or visit out website.

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.