We talked a lot about medical treatment and medical records in our post about the 15 reasons people get denied Social Security.
Today we are going to talk about medical treatments and why they are so important.
We will also talk about why your medical treatment may be the real reason your claim was denied.
Your medical treatment is the most important thing to concentrate on
if you are planning to file for disability or you have an ongoing claim.
But what is considered medical treatment?
You are probably thinking: “well, medical treatment is simply going to the doctor and getting some medications so I can feel better”.
Yes. but there is more to it than just going to the doctor and getting medication.
Medical treatment is also going to the RIGHT doctor and getting the RIGHT treatment
I get a lot of calls every day where claimants tell me they are going to the doctor for treatment. But when I ask more details about what kind of doctors they are seeing they tell me that they are seeing one doctor.
In most cases, a primary physician, a nurse, a physician’s assistant or a chiropractor.
I also get those claimants who tell me they have 5 serious medical conditions but are only dedicating their time to one or two of them. Others call me and tell me that they are not getting ANY medical treatment but want to file based on a diagnosis they received 2 years ago.
Finally, I get the ones that just recently received a diagnosis. Or they just got out of the hospital and have yet to go for a follow-up appointment to start treatment.
All of these claimants will likely encounter one problem:
They ALL lack the RIGHT medical treatment to support their disability
“How do you know this without even seeing what my records look like?”
“What if my primary doctor or my nurse says I’m disabled? Shouldn’t Social Security believe my doctors or nurses?”
“Why would my doctors lie if they didn’t believe I am disabled?”
In an ideal world, yes: Social Security (or insurance companies) should believe your doctor when he says you’re disabled.
But doctors are wrong all the time. Also sometimes doctors are just trying to get to the next patient and they agree to fill out any forms just to get you out of their room. Judges know that!
Finally, there is one thing that most doctors don’t know and we talked about this before. You may not be able to do your old job but what if you can do some “other job”?
Your doctor may say you’re disabled because he believes you shouldn’t be a truck driver anymore.
But doctors don’t always understand the disability claim process. And they may not know that to win you must show the inability to do ANY jobs.
Only by asking your doctor, point blank, “can I do any other job?”
will your doctor realize the significance of his support for your disability claim
A lot of doctors when posed with this question, will say: “Yeah, I think you can do something else”. But most people don’t ask that question or just don’t want to hear the answer.
So, if your question about whether you are disabled focuses only on your profession you are NOT getting the real answer.
Again, remember that Social Security only needs to find some other job (in theory) that you can do and the claim is over.
I know you feel sick and you probably could use the time off. But you really need to ask this question:
“Can I ever work again, in any jobs at all?”
Better yet, what you really should ask is: “Doctor, are my working days over?”
You will only be fooling yourself if the answer to your question is NO. Imagine the time wasted and the anguish going through the process of defending your claim not knowing this answer until it’s too late.
Why am I telling you this? “I just don’t want you to waste time!
Life is hard as it is!”
If you have the ability to work some other job, even if you are not trained to do another job, and even if it doesn’t pay as well as your old job,
you simply don’t qualify for disability.
If you don’t qualify for disability in the first place, you really need to take a hard look at your impairments so you don’t waste two or more years of your life going through the stress of defending a losing claim.
This is not an easy ride. I promise you!
It breaks my heart to see someone calling me after years and years defending their claim and when I ask them if they could do any job in the world and they hesitantly say “I think I could do this”. They just wasted all their time.
If only they knew about this minor detail before they filed their claim…
Now that we clarified why Social Security won’t believe your doctor at first, we need to go over why seeing certain medical professionals can also hurt your claim.
I’m talking about nurses (RNs, LPs), physicians assistants (PAs), Licensed Social Workers and chiropractors.
I’m not claiming they don’t have the competency to make medical assessments. They do! And sometimes they do a better job than doctors! There, I said it!
But the issue here is “weight” of the evidence.
What is that? Evidence does not need to go on a diet. In fact, the “heavier” the better!!
No, it’s not a joke.
Evidence has “weight” when it carries “credibility“. Credibility comes with “credentials“. And unfortunately, credentials come with an M.D or D.O after a name. It’s that simple.
It doesn’t matter that you have the best nurse in the world! Heck, I love my nurse!
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But when it comes to taking your case to court, a judge will be looking for those credentials.
A nurse is always seen as someone who takes care of the “sniffles” even if it’s not true! Imagine how many lives were saved because nurses were checking vitals, medications and were in the right place at the right time!
But unfortunately, we live in a society that still sees “pecking” order as an indication of knowledge and credibility.
That doesn’t mean your nurse’s records won’t carry some weight. Especially if she is supervised by an MD and has been treating you for years.
But for a disability claim, especially Social Security, you WILL need an MD “running the show”. And not just any MD: An MD specialist!
Which takes us back to the start of our conversation: The RIGHT doctors!
So you have an MD “running the show” like I suggested but you are still wondering: “Is my doctor good enough to support my claim?”
If all you have is a primary physician the answer is NO. You don’t!
Why? Because the function of a primary physician is to treat most “minor” medical conditions. “Maintenance” is a good word. Like your “tune-up” doctor. The one who “changes the oil and rotates the tires“, if you will.
“Why am I describing your doctor like this?” Because that’s mostly how they are seen in the disability world.
I know diabetes or high blood pressure are serious conditions and these are things most primary doctors treat. But if you have a bad back, your diabetes is out of control or your heart requires more than just a high blood pressure medication, you really, REALLY should be seeing a specialist.
In fact, if you need to focus on your most serious medical conditions when being limited on insurance co-pays, concentrate on the ones that require a specialist.
If you have sinus problems, for example: yes, you will have pain and discomfort, but these are not disabling. Leaving a sinus problem for a primary doctor will not be a problem.
But if you have a serious heart condition. please see a cardiologist!
If, despite trying all sorts of medications, your diabetes is out of control, go see an endocrinologist!
If you have a bad back, go see an orthopedist or a surgeon. Just pain pills from the primary doctor will not win a disability case.
A specialist carries a lot of “weight” when it comes to supporting a claim. A lot!
When judges look at a claim, they want to know that the doctors treating you are specialists in their field.
These doctors studied their particular specialty in detail for years. A primary doctor is not enough to win cases for that very reason: They know a little about everything, but not in every detail and not in-depth like a specialist.
And because your specialist knows his practice really well, judges will know, or at least accept, that your doctors tried everything in their book to treat you and cure you.
If despite all specialty treatment you are still not cured or maybe will never be cured, a judge will then know you are disabled.
Or at least, that’s what you aim for when you bring medical records from a specialist.
So, How Do I Fix My Medical Treatment to Improve My Chances at Winning My Case?
Your homework after reading this post is to make a list of your medical conditions and answer this question honestly for each condition:
“Does this impairment alone prevent me from working?” If the answer is yes, get a specialist and start treating with him or her now!
If you already have a specialist for that particular condition, then good for you! You are on the right track!
If the answer to the question is no (that is, you could work with that condition: eg, sinus, controlled diabetes, mild carpal tunnel, etc), then you can rely on a primary doctor.
But you can still get a specialist to add “weight” to your evidence.
The more “weight” the evidence has, the better. So why not?
I know money is sometimes a consideration when deciding to go to a specialist or not. But without one, it will be very difficult to win your claim.
If you are in a limited situation then at least, narrow down the most serious conditions you have and get a specialist for those. Then the primary doctor can take care of the rest.
- What kinds of doctors are treating your medical conditions?
- Are they specialists?
- List your medical conditions and ask: Does this condition alone prevent me from working? If so, then get a specialist for that condition.
Courses by Realtactics4disabilityclaims.com
You just learned some tips and tricks on how to fix your Medical records, but do you know how to read them to see if they are actually supporting your disability?
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If you were denied disability and you are looking to appeal with “better” evidence, I created a course about using a Residual Functional Capacity Report to add to your medical records. This is a form you can take to your doctor to complete in support of your claim. The course includes forms for physical or mental impairments and instructions on how to ask your doctor to complete them. You can take a “free sneak peek” to see if this course is for you. Click on the image below and you will be directed to the course page:
Also, if you are looking to file for disability and don’t know where to start, I created a course called the “5 Day File your Disability Claim” Guide where I teach you every step you should take to file your claim.
Simply click on the image below and it will take you directly to the course page. Take a “free sneak peek” of the first lesson to see if this course is for you.
You know the blog, now you can take one step further and learn the process of preparing and filing your claim.
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