In last week’s post, we emphasized the importance of providing the Social Security Administration documentation and medical evidence in support of your disability application. With electronic health records, it may be tempting to assume that adequate records are being kept after a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our disability attorneys have seen far too many instances where that assumption was proven false.
For starters, a doctor should be alerted if his or her patient intends to apply for Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits. Although these two programs have different requirements regarding work history and financial need, they share a common approach to disability definitions. Those conditions must result in functional limitations which prevent an individual from working for at least a year.
Although best practices call for detailed notes, doctors have busy schedules and may rely on shorthand or abbreviated notes as a time saving measure. Yet a doctor who is aware of a patient’s intention to file for disability benefits may take extra care in documenting symptoms and treatments. It is a good idea to keep a journal of treatments, medications and symptoms. A journal of all the individual’s symptoms may provide more factual context, allowing a doctor to prescribe the most appropriate medications and treatments for all medical conditions, not just the primary diagnosis. In the context of disability benefits, a patient’s journal is helpful as a checklist of disabling symptoms and limitations to report to all treating doctors.
At the Disability and Injury Law Offices of David R. Machek, we have extensive experience in helping claimants prepare winning disability applications. We offer to review SSA disability applications without cost or obligation. Our confidence is reflected by our policy of accepting payment only in the event an applicant is awarded benefits. For a free consultation regarding your disability application and claim, call the Disability and Injury Law Offices of David R. Machek at Jenkintown 215-385-5353 or Philadelphia 215-323-5320. You can also email us at: [email protected]