Are Your Conversations with Your Doctor Hurting Your Claim for Social Security Disability?

March 10, 2015

When you speak to your doctor under normal circumstances, your conversation is confidential, because you are protected by the client/patient relationship. But when you apply for workers’ compensation, you need to submit your medical records – and your doctor’s notes will probably end up in that documentation. This can be problematic if you have to see a different doctor than your regular physician in order to apply for your Social Security Disability benefits.

It is very important that you tell your doctor the truth about your experiences, but you should be aware of what you say and how you say it. When you visit the doctor:

  • Don’t speculate. Let the doctor know what symptoms you are experiencing and how long you have been experiencing them. Avoid self-diagnosing, too; better to let the doctor assign you the proper medical code.
  • Don’t elaborate (on non-medical things that is). No one is saying not to be friendly with your doctor – but be careful about how you tell a story. Avoid exaggeration about what you can and cannot do.
  • Ask questions. If you do not understand what your doctor is saying about your condition, ask for clarification. You can also ask the doctor to provide you with any notes he or she takes during the exam, and follow up with questions about those notes later on, after you have had time to read them.
  • Be honest. Tell your doctor the truth at all times. If you lie on your application for Social Security Disability – even if the lie is a “white lie” – you will almost definitely be denied a claim, and you may have difficulty filing a new claim or appealing the original ruling.
  • Request written instructions. Your SSD claim can be denied if you are prescribed a medication or therapy and you do not follow it to the letter (and there are no extenuating circumstances as to why you could not). Ask your doctor to type out the complete instructions for your treatment. Or, you can write down the instructions yourself and request that your doctor review them and sign them to prove that he/she has read them over.

Almost ¾ of people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits in this country are denied, and one of the contributing factors to that denial has to do with medical records. Make sure you ask the right questions and do not speak glibly or exaggerate your health problems, in order to give yourself the best shot.

Larry Pitt & Associates has served the people in Philadelphia and the surrounding cities and counties for close to 40 years. We can help you through the process of applying for Social Security Disability as we have helped so many others. Please contact our office to learn more about our services.