When applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in Iowa, one of the most crucial factors in building a strong case is the presence of comprehensive and accurate medical documentation.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) relies heavily on medical evidence to evaluate the severity and impact of someone’s impairments and, therefore, whether that person is disabled.
Here are some steps to follow to help prove you’re disabled according to the SSA:
Establishing Treating Relationships
One of the first steps in building a strong disability case is establishing a consistent and ongoing treating relationship with your healthcare providers.
This involves regularly visiting doctors, specialists, therapists, and other relevant healthcare professionals who can provide necessary medical evidence. A strong treating relationship demonstrates how long and often you’ve been treating and helps establish the credibility of your disability claim.
Medical Records and Diagnostic Testing
Medical records play a vital role in substantiating your disability claim. These records should include detailed information about your medical condition, treatment plans, medications, and responses to treatment.
When gathering medical records, be sure to request copies of doctor’s notes, hospitalization records, surgical reports, imaging results, laboratory test results, and any other relevant diagnostic testing. These documents provide objective evidence of your impairment and its impact on your daily life.
The lack of medical documentation is one of the main reasons most disability benefit claims are denied. If you fail to tell Social Security about all of your healthcare providers, the SSA may not be able to get a full picture of your limitations.
Treatment History and Compliance
The SSA examines whether you have followed prescribed treatments, attended medical appointments, and adhered to medication regimens. Any gaps or non-compliance in treatment can raise doubts about the severity of your condition and may impact the credibility of your claim.
It is important to maintain a record of your treatment history, including appointment dates, medication lists, and any side effects or complications experienced.
Specialist and Expert Opinions
In some cases, obtaining opinions from specialists or experts can significantly strengthen your disability case. These professionals can provide additional insights into the nature, severity, and prognosis of your condition.
The best way to get opinions on your limitations is to hire a Social Security Disability attorney. Your attorney knows the right experts for your limitations and can ask them to provide expert opinions related to your specific impairment.
These opinions can carry substantial weight when presented as supporting evidence in your disability claim, whether during your initial application or throughout the appeals process.
Function Reports and Activities of Daily Living
In addition to medical records, providing detailed function reports and descriptions of your daily activities can further strengthen your case.
Function reports outline how your impairment affects your ability to perform routine tasks, such as personal care, household chores, and work-related activities. Include information about any limitations, difficulties, or pain experienced during these activities. These reports provide a firsthand account of the impact your impairment has on your daily functioning and can provide valuable insight into your disability claim.
Gathering all of this information and getting the expert opinions needed to win your case can be more than most people can deal with. An Iowa Social Security Disability attorney can gather these medical records and opinions for you and provide them to the SSA, furthering your chances of winning your claim.
By ensuring that you have all the necessary medical documentation and presenting a clear and compelling case, you can increase the likelihood of a successful SSD claim and obtain the vital benefits you deserve.
To get your free, no-obligation case evaluation, call RSH Legal today at 1-800-433-0283.