You and Your Disability Claim: The Importance of Documenting Your Medical Condition

By Disability Group

It is important to understand the mind of a disability determinate. During this process the only real evidence Social Security Administration has of your disability, other than your testimony, are your medical records. So, it is critical to see your doctor regularly and ensure your doctor records and documents your disability symptoms.

Importance of Documenting Symptoms and Impairments

What does it mean to ‘document’ your disability symptoms and impairments?

Documenting symptoms and impairments means making sure you are telling your doctor all of your symptoms every time you go in and making sure that your doctor is writing the information down. Having well documented medical records and doctor’s notes are critical components for presenting your Social Security disability claim.

Be specific!  You must clearly state how you feel and how your disability affects your daily life. If you give vague feedback, your doctor will write vague notes, which does not help your disability case.

Do not only rely on the doctor visits to discuss impairments. Keep a daily log especially if your condition seems to be worsening. Also take your log to each doctor visit and call your doctor whenever you experience significant pain or trauma. Do not be afraid to visit the hospital or ER if you are need of medical attention. This can only help the disability determinates get a better look inside of your hardship.

The most important part of documenting your symptoms is being consistent. For instance, if on one occasion you are in uncontrollable pain, then the next visit you say that you have never felt better, this may look suspicious. A disability is a lifelong condition that should be consistently causing discomfort. It is best when filing for disability that you continue treating for the same condition you listed on your initial application. 

Keeping a copy of your own records can help with a smooth process while applying for disability. Also keep your doctor appointments and be on time for your visits. Staying in contact with your doctor will ensure accurate medical records and help you win your claim.