Why do I Need to Keep Seeing My Doctor During My Claim for Social Security Disability Benefits, part 2

March 2, 2012

Continuing to see your doctor, even if there is no more that the doctor can do to make you better, can show Social Security that your symptoms have not improved or have worsened. Seeing your doctor regularly can also help your doctor follow up on the best care, update your treatment as medicines and treatments change, and get to know you better as a patient so that the doctor an establish a good patient-doctor relationship with you. Therefore continued doctor visits can help to support your claim to get Social Security disability benefits; help to keep you from getting cut off incorrectly after you start to get Social Security disability benefits; and help you to get the best treatment possible under your circumstances [see this topic part 1 for more information].

What you tell your doctor and do in response to your doctor's recommendations is likely to show up in your medical records. Make sure when you see your doctor that you:

  1. Tell the doctor everything that is bothering you. You are not "whining" or complaining but rather helping your doctor to help you.

  2. Tell the doctor how you are really feeling. Don't say you are "okay" if you are in fact in pain, unable to sleep or worn out despite sleep, sad or depressed, running to the bathroom frequently, or having other symptoms.

  3. Ask your doctor to put any recommendations in writing. If your doctor gives you limits on activities, advises you get a cane or brace, suggests you need specialty treatment, feels that you cannot work, etc. ask the doctor to put it in writing.

  4. Follow all of your doctor's advice. Do your best to get the treatment and follow the recommendations your doctor gives. If you cannot, make sure you tell your doctor why you are unable to comply such as inability to afford a treatment or medicine or side effects from medicine and treatment that made you stop.