The Three Reasons Your Medical Records are Key To Winning Your Social Security Disability Claim
Your medical records are one of the keys to getting the Social Security disability benefits you deserve. You are required to establish that you have a medically determinable impairment, that you have gotten medical treatment and that you are compliant with that medical treatment.
Let’s talk about how each of these is key to winning your Social Security disability benefits.
- A Medically Determinable Impairment
The Social Security Administration (SSA) rule require that you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which is an “impairment that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities [that] can be shown by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.”
Your pain and other symptoms will not by themselves establish that you meet Social Security’s five step sequential evaluation test. The objective medical evidence from an acceptable medical source must show that you have a medical impairment that could reasonably be expected to produce the pain or symptoms that you claim.
The SSA will consider your medical history, laboratory findings and, of course, statements that you have made about how your symptoms affect you.
Your medical records should have objective medical testing that documents the anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities that you claim entitle you to disability benefits.
This means, for example, that you should have spinal X-rays, a lumbar MRI, or even an EMG and nerve conduction study test if you are claiming that you’re disabled because of a back condition. If you’re claiming that you’re psychiatrically disabled, you should have psychological testing that confirms the psychological diagnosis.
- Medical Treatment
The SSA will closely review your medical records to see whether you’ve gotten medical treatment and if there are any gaps in treatment. Gaps in your treatment can destroy your case particularly if it’s been six months, a year, or even longer in which you haven’t gotten any. It doesn’t matter if your physician has nothing to offer you in the way of treatment. The SSA still expects that you will have seen a physician.
You should be seeing a physician on regular intervals during your case, and even after your claim has been accepted. The failure to get regular medical treatment is a common reason why Social Security disability claims are denied. Don’t make this an easy denial for SSA.
- Compliance With Medical Treatment
While you aren’t required to undergo invasive procedures, some judges will hold it against you. You should explore all treatment options and be compliant with medical treatment. That means taking your medication as prescribed and telling your doctor if you have any side effects from the medication. While side effects of medication can be disabling, the SSA will expect that you will have attempted different trials at medication to address those side effects.
Noncompliance with medical treatment is another case killer.
Don’t give SSA or a Social Security judge reason to deny your claim.
Why Cavey Law?
Nancy Cavey understands that the Social Security Disability system often doesn’t make it easy for claimants to get the benefits they need. Please call our office at 727-894-3188 for a free consultation and a chance to get the disability benefits you deserve.