In over 10 years of practicing, Ive come to identify several pitfalls that many claimants fall into when applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Avoiding these can greatly increase your chances of getting a favorable decision. In this four-part series I want to help you identify these issues to increase your chances of getting a favorable decision.
PART ONE: NOT HAVING THE RIGHT KIND OF MEDICAL RECORDS.
The biggest mistake I see is that claimants are not getting the right medical records to prove they are disabled.
Number one, generally, the records should be current. Although it may be important to show the condition has been present for years or that there has been a progression of your symptoms, Social Security will want to see whats keeping you from being able to work NOW. That means you will need to show some more recent medical records to document what the status of your condition is near to the time you file.
Number two, the records need to be from the right types of providers. Generally, you should be seeing specialists for your conditions. If you are alleging disability based on psychological health, you should be seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist, and a counselor. If you are alleging disability based on arthritis or fibromyalgia, you should be seeing a rheumatologist. If you are alleging disability based on spinal issues, you should be seeing an orthopedist and a pain manager. While getting treatment from your primary care provider is a great place to start to prove that these are debilitating conditions, Social Security will expect you will be seeing a specialist.
Your medical records are your number one pieces of evidence in your claim. Without the right types of records, its like fighting a dragon without a sword.