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HOW TO BUILD MEDICAL RECORD EVIDENCE FOR YOUR DISABILITY CASE

Building the medical record evidence in you disability case is the single most important thing you can do to help yourself win benefits. At Cannon Disability Law, we can help you build your case. Unfortunately, many people who apply for disability benefits do not understand this simple fact. Instead, they think they can explain their disability to a judge and their explanation will win the case. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The law requires the judge in your case to find, in your medical records, objective evidence of your disabling impairments. The judge must determine if you have a “severe impairment.” This is the finding that will allow the judge to continue with his analysis of your case. If the judge cannot find evidence of a severe impairment in your medical records, then you will not win. Instead, the judge will find that no objective medical evidence supports your testimony. You will, therefore, lose your case.

doctor with records

 

WHAT ARE PROGRESS NOTES AND HOW CAN THEY HELP YOUR DISABILITY CASE

You do not want this to happen. But how can you what your doctor writes in her progress notes? The simple answer is, you can’t. However, almost all physicians write honest progress notes. Those notes are about your visit to the doctor and will include the things you say. So, for example, if you complain of severe pain or disabling mental impairments, the doctor will write about those issues. 

However, if you fail to mention your disabling pain or your severe mental impairments, like crying spells or panic attacks from depression. Then your doctor will not document your impairments and there will be no evidence in your medical records stating you have a disability. 

Sometimes, when they go to the doctor, people focus on only one aspect of their health.  For example, they may tell the doctor they have back pain, but forget to talk about their knee pain or ankle pain. This is especially common if you have an impairment, like back pain, that is overwhelming. Obviously, you would focus on only this type of pain if you are visiting your doctor.

MAKE A LIST OF YOUR PROBLEMS AND DISCUSS THEM WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN

However, focusing on only one impairment is not helpful to your disability case. The advice we give to our clients is to write down a list of all of your medical Impairments and problems so you can discuss them with the doctor. Most people make a list of items they need when they go to the store. But, for some reason, they do not make a list of the things they want to discuss with their doctor. Surely, the items you want to discuss with your doctor are more important that a grocery list. So, make a list.

Doctors are busy and they have very little time to spend with each patient they treat. At most, you have 15-20 minutes to explain your problems to your doctor. Make sure you prepare yourself to make the most of your doctor visits. For example, if you are having back pain that radiates down one leg, tell this to the doctor. However, you must also tell the doctor how this effect you doing your normal daily activities. 

For example, you might want to tell the doctor that you have trouble sleeping due to pain, cannot sit down, lift more than 10 pounds, drive a car, or stand long enough to take a shower.  If you do not have these examples written down to tell the doctor, you may forget them. These are important examples of how your pain prevents you from doing normal activities. Tell your doctor about your limitations so she understands that your impairments are severe and prevent you from working.

IF YOU NEED OTHER ADVICE ABOUT BUILDING YOUR MEDICAL RECORD EVIDENCE CONTACT CANNON DISABILITY LAW

At Cannon Disability Law, we want to be your disability law legal team. We are located in Salt Lake City, Utah, but we practice throughout the Intermountain West. We file disability applications at ssa.gov in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Calfornia, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Wyoming. Our years of experience helps us build disability cases. Let us help you. We offer a free consultation. Additionally, we do not charge an attorney unless we win your case. Contact us today for free.

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