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Continuous Medical Treatment – The “Meat” of your Social Security Disability Claim

February 10, 2020

For Social Security to consider you “disabled” enough to approve your claim for Disability benefits, there are 2 requirements:

  1. Your medical condition (symptoms, medication side effects, treatment schedule) makes you unable earn a living in your line of work; and
  2. Your condition will prevent you from working for at least 1 year or will result in death within 1 year.

How do I prove to Social Security that I am Disabled?

Disability is proven through your medical records. It can’t be just one or two doctors visits either. Past medical treatment or bare minimum medical treatment is not enough. You have to show current, continuous medical treatment. Social Security must see that your disabling condition exists and is continuing through the present.

In order to achieve this, it is important to establish a relationship with a doctor who treats your disabling condition(s). Keeping follow-up appointments with your doctor and following his or her treatment plan is very important. Each time you miss an appointment or fail to comply with treatment, it is noted by your doctor’s office staff, which is then seen in your medical records.

Social Security must also see that the medical evidence “jives” with the disabilities you are claiming. This is the crucial role your medical records play in showing your credibility. Doctors often take SOAP notes (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan) about what the patient feels (Subjective) as well as the doctor’s findings (Objective). These records are reviewed alongside your allegations of disability to see whether there is a correlation between the two. Because of this, it is important to be honest with your doctor and to make sure you express all of your concerns to him or her.

Along those same lines, medical records are a valuable source of information regarding how your disability worsens or improves. Because your disabling condition must last, or be expected to last, twelve months or more, your medical records will outline the progression of your disability for Social Security. By keeping follow up appointments with your doctor, as stated earlier, it is easier to track the severity of symptoms as well as uncover any new symptoms that may have developed since you became disabled.

Overall, the most important point to take away from this blog is to make every effort to continue your medical treatment. Even if you have a test, appointment or procedure scheduled for the future, let Social Security or your representative know. Ensuring Social Security has all the pertinent information could mean the difference between an approval and a denial.

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