Man with woman in wheelchair

By Marie Lowery

The most important aspect of applying for disability benefits is collecting and submitting medical documentation that supports your claim.

It is essential to submit to the Social Security Administration not only records from your primary care physician, but records from specialists, urgent care facilities, hospitals, chiropractic clinics, psychologists and/or therapists, home health care facilities, compensation and pension examinations, vocational rehabilitation, and physical therapy reports.

For individuals alleging deficits in mental functioning, it is also important to obtain school records including results of intellectual function testing (IQ scores) and any special education records.

Because medical documentation is such an essential part of the application process, if you have been unable to afford treatment, please seek out free clinics in your area or have your representative request that the Social Security Administration schedule you for a consultative examination.

Although you will not be automatically denied benefits for lack of treatment, it is critical to show that you did attempt to seek treatment while your claim was pending. The Social Security Department at the Joye Law Firm would be happy to provide you with a list of free clinics in your area.

If you have an established physician, ask if he or she would be willing to write a statement or complete documentation from your representative to be supplied to the Social Security Administration in support of your case. This statement should explain your condition(s) and the functional limitations you face in regard to performing job-related duties. A statement from a physician who you have an established treatment history with will be given weight if it is supported by medical documentation. The Social Security Department at the Joye Law Firm would be pleased to supply your physician with appropriate forms tailored specifically to your condition(s).

Need help? Contact an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer who can review your case and advise you on how to proceed.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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