Although a Lowell Social Security lawyer can help you in many ways, here are five things that only you can do to improve your chances of a successful claim.
- See your doctor regularly and get treatment. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have a “medically determinable impairment” that keeps you from working. You need medical records to prove that you have such an impairment. If your medical records are inadequate, Social Security will have you examined by a doctor at its expense. But medical records from a doctor who has been treating you are better evidence than the report of a doctor who has examined you only once. Your doctor’s records will usually provide a more complete picture of your condition. In addition, your doctor can offer Social Security his or her opinion about how your condition affects your ability to work. A treating doctor’s opinion can be very influential.
- Tell your doctor everything that bothers you. Claimants sometimes neglect to mention symptoms they consider to be minor. That is a mistake. Minor symptoms may indicate a hidden illness or may become worse over time. Social Security will consider the combined effect of all your symptoms on your ability to work. Sometimes it’s the combined effect of all your symptoms that is disabling. Before you visit your doctor, write down all your complaints so you won’t forget to mention any of them.
- Follow your doctor’s advice. If you do not follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations, Social Security may decide that your condition can’t be that bad. If it were, you would be doing everything possible to get relief. Make sure you take your medication, do your physical therapy, and so forth. If treatments don’t help, continue to visit your doctor and ask for different treatments, or ask for referral to a specialist or pain management clinic. Your persistence in seeking treatment will help persuade Social Security that your symptoms are really bothering you.
- Keep records. You application and appeal papers will ask you to supply details about your medical treatments and medications and you will have to testify about them at your hearing. It will be easier for you to provide this information if you have kept records. Jot down the names of all doctors you saw, appointment dates, what tests you were given, the names of your prescription drugs, and what therapies you took. Pick up business cards for each doctor you see so you will have the doctor’s address and phone number and keep your pill bottles as a record of your medications and dosages.
- Always tell the truth. Answer all questions from the Social Security Administration accurately and honestly. Inconsistent statements, mistakes, and memory lapses raise questions about whether you are telling the truth. Doubts about your truthfulness are very damaging to your claim.
Contact Our Lowell Social Security Lawyer
If you are applying for disability benefits or if your application has been denied and you would like assistance with your appeal, please contact Lowell Social Security lawyer Gerard A. Palma for a free evaluation of your claim. Simply complete the form on this page and we will respond promptly. Or phone or email us, if you prefer.
Gerard A. Palma, Esq.
Palma Law Offices, P.C.
Lowell disability attorney
79 Merrimack Street, Suite 201
Lowell, Massachusetts 01852