The Things You Tell Your Doctor

The things you tell your doctor about how you are doing (and what you are doing with your time) frequently end up in your medical progress notes. These progress notes provide your doctors with context and information about your condition. Anyone applying for disability needs to know that those medical notes become part of the record for your disability claim. These notes are read carefully by the people making decisions on your claim, whether that person is a disability examiner or an administrative law judge. I hate to say that you have to be careful what you tell your doctor, but you have to be careful what you tell your doctor. Because those statements made to your doctor are considered when your credibility is assessed by a decision maker. I had a hearing for recently for a claimant disabled by chronic pain. The record contained a treating doctor’s progress note stating that the patient “was helping a neighbor build an addition to his house.” Now it turns out that the claimant was knowledgable about construction, and was simply walking next door to give his neighbor advice about how to proceed. He never picked up a tool or lifted a board. There is nothing inconsistent with that activity and a finding of disability due to chronic pain; people in pain still socialize, and carry on their lives as best they can. But even when the actual facts are explained to the judge, credibility questions can remain. As a result, a case can become more difficult to win when doctors’ notes contain statements about the patient’s activities. So be careful what you say to your doctor, because...

Social Security Disability for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) happens after seeing or going through a traumatic event involving injury or death, such as as accident, rape, abuse, killings, natural disasters or even a heart attack.  According to the MAYO Clinic PTSD symptoms may start within months of s traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event.  These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships. PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, or changed in emotional reactions.  PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time.  Treatment for post traumatic stress disorder can involve counseling,  therapy, psychotherapy or a combination of many treatments. Disability claims for PTSD can be approved by disability claim examiners in two separate ways.  The first route for approval is for individuals whose medical records satisfy the requirements of Social Security’s disability listing on anxiety-related disorders.  The second means of approval is t get a “medial-vocational” allowance.  This may sound like it’s an exception but it’s actually the manner in which the great majority of SSD and SSI disability claims are approved. Not sure if you qualify?  Call Russ at 888-836-3898 or click here form more information.  Have some questions?  Take a look at our FAQ page....