Today's post comes from Roger Moore of the Nebraska Bar.
PROBLEM 1: You haven't had regular medical care because you don't have health insurance. Without regular medical care, it's difficult to develop a relationship with a doctor that is strong enough that the doctor can complete a report on your health. Even if your disability is very real, proving it in Court can still be a hard thing to do. However, without medical insurance, most doctors won't see a patient.
SOLUTION: In Nebraska there are some free clinics where you can be seen by a doctor even if you cannot afford to pay. To find a free clinic near you, contact your local health department. Anyone planning on applying for Social Security Disability should try to develop a relationship with a doctor by seeking regular medical care as often as possible.
PROBLEM 2: Many applicants don't have the right kinds of conversations with their doctors about their disabilities. Doctors are mainly concerned with your symptoms and how they can help you get well. They aren't necessarily focused on the kinds of things they'll need to know to help you with your Social Security Disability claim. To fill out a report for your claim, they'll need to know exactly how much you can and cannot do.
While your attorney may invite your doctor to schedule an appointment with you so that they can gather the correct information, doctors often do not do this, and may complete your report with incomplete knowledge of your physical condition.
SOLUTION: It is important for you to educate your doctor about your limitations every time you see them, so that when they have to fill out a disability report, they will have a basis of knowledge to complete the report with. Whether your disability is physical, mental, or some combination of the two, make sure to give your doctor specific examples of your limitations each time you see them. Talk to your doctor about what you can and cannot do such as:
- how much you can lift,
- how long you can stand for,
- how much you can do with your hands,
- or how easily you can handle social interactions.
Take the right steps to make sure that you get the evidence you need to support your Social Security Disability claim!