What can You do to Help Your Social Security Disability Case?
Below are some social security disability help tips that will go a long way in proving your claim for disability benefits, and assisting your attorney in presenting the most favorable case possible on your behalf. I am often asked by clients what they can do to help with their disability case.
Social Security Disability Helpful Tips
Bottom line is regular treatment is essential to your disability claim. Even if you have been told by a doctor additional treatment won’t help, follow-ups at least every 3 months are still necessary.
If you cannot afford treatment, apply for treatment at a free clinic in your area. There are several organizations in South Carolina that provide free and/or low cost treatment. There is no excuse to justify not receiving any treatment.
Compliance is Vital
Always follow recommendations from your doctor and take medications as prescribed. Social Security can deny claims if records from your doctor mention that you have not been compliant with treatment. (This is important even in regard to recommendations from your doctor regarding weight loss, healthier diet, or discontinuing smoking.)
Don’t Make Assumptions
Don’t assume that your doctors’ offices have kept detailed notes. If a medical condition or symptom is not noted or discussed in your chart then it does not exist for purposes of your case. It is not enough to testify at a hearing that you have been meaning to tell your doctor about certain issues but haven’t yet.
Communicate with your Doctor
Do not assume that because you have been treating with a certain doctor for years that your doctor knows your symptoms. Each time you visit your doctor, go over all your symptoms again and make sure they are being documented in your chart at each visit.
When your doctor or the nurse asks how you are doing at the start of your appointment avoid saying “I’m fine” or “I’m okay.” Clients often use these terms but these descriptions are not helpful in regard to your disability case and they can be easily misinterpreted by Social Security. (If you are truly fine or okay you likely would not be applying for disability). Instead, be descriptive and let the doctor or nurse know that you do not feel well.
Reports of Improvement
If you report improvement from a medication or procedure to your doctor and your symptoms return, you need to let your doctor know that the improvement was short term. Otherwise, Social Security will assume that you have received sustained improvement with treatment.
Do not overstate symptoms, be specific. Generalized statements such as “I hurt all over” or “I can’t do anything except lay in bed all day” are not helpful. Social Security generally views these types of statements as an exaggeration of symptoms.
If you are alleging that your mental health symptoms are disabling, you need to be receiving treatment with a psychiatrist. Treatment with only a primary care doctor for mental health symptoms is generally not enough. The South Carolina Department of Mental Health has treatment options for individuals who cannot afford care with a private psychiatrist.
If you use a cane to aid in walking make sure you have a prescription from your doctor. An explanation that your doctor knows you have a cane or recommended that you use a cane is not enough.
Your doctor issuing a handicapped placard does not mean that you are disabled.
If you are under the age of 50 and applying for disability it is helpful to first apply for services through South Carolina Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to see if there are potential jobs available that may accommodate your medical conditions.
These social security disability help tips are just a starting point. For specific help for your disability case, please contact the Lowery Law Group legal team.
If you think you might want to hire a disability lawyer to help you receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, contact Lowery Law Group of Charleston, SC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (843) 991-0733. There is no fee for a free consultation regarding your claim. Lowery Law Group is experienced in handling cases in South Carolina as well as Georgia.