Social Security Disability: How can I help my Disability case?

Clients often ask us what they can do to help their disability case.  Obviously, they cannot change their medical situation, but they can do a number of things that will help improve their chances of winning.  Here’s a few tips that anyone can use to help their own disability case.

  1.  Be Thorough on the initial application:  The initial Social Security Disability application is long and tedious.  Many of the questions are relatively simple and just take time to get through.  However, a number of questions ask for details about your work and medical history.  If you want to improve your chances, it is best to fill out this application as thoroughly as possible.  Doing so gets as much information to Social Security which only improves your chances of being approved on the front end.
  2.  Keep a Log of your Medical Treatment:  Keep a journal or notebook for when you see a doctor.  Write down who you saw, their address, phone number, what condition(s) they treat you for, what tests they performed (if any), and what medication they prescribed.  This will help you on the initial application in being thorough, and will help your lawyer be able to supplement your records at the appeal level.  Keeping a good medical notebook will go a long ways towards helping your case.
  3.  Get consistent medical treatment – Many disability claimants are in a tough spot. The bills are piling up and no money is coming in. This means it’s not easy or affordable to get consistent medical treatment.  However, getting consistent treatment is VITAL to your Social Security case.  The examiner and administrative law judge rely on medical records more than anything else in making their decisions.  If you don’t have a good history of going to your doctor, you are hurting your chances at winning you case.  So as hard as it may be, you have to make sure you are still getting your medical conditions handled.
  4.  Keep your lawyer informed – Your lawyer cannot help you if you don’t keep them updated of your conditions and treatment.  If you go to the doctor, tell your lawyer. If you’ve been diagnosed with another condition, tell your lawyer.  Your lawyer is there to advocate for you and can build up your case so you have the best chance of winning.  But if you don’t tell your lawyer about what’s going on with your medical history, the lawyer will be hindered from doing his/her job effectively. So keep your lawyer informed of what’s going on in your life.