How to Document Disabilities for Social Security Benefits

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance can be complicated. After all, in Florida, only 26.8% of applicants approved when they first apply. This is lower than the national average, which is currently at 31%. Something that can make the process a little easier is doing a thorough job of documenting your disabilities. The following includes several tips and techniques to help you better document your disabilities for the SSA, so you can get the benefits you deserve.

First off, make a folder for all medical records. Have several copies of anything your doctor says or does. This includes notes in your file, test results, and even x-ray and MRI films. Make sure you sign a “release of information” form with your doctor’s office so authorized parties can access your medical history. Remember: there may be a cost for getting copies of your medical records. If you are also filing a worker’s compensation claim, than keep a record of this fee, as you may be reimbursed.

It also helps to keep a list of all medications, including the name, dose, and frequency of each. You can get a printed list from your pharmacist. You should also keep the bottles of all of your medication. Not only is this a physical example of the medication you’re taking, but also it serves as evidence for how long you’ve been on each medication. Make sure to note the side effects of all medications and therapies. This information is helpful when determining one’s ability to work.

You can also take pictures of the injury and get written statement from witnesses who were there when the disability began. While it isn’t required, this information is especially useful in a worker’s compensation claim.

Most importantly, you should keep a daily log or journal about how your life is being affected by your disability. This is the best representation of the impact your disability is having on your life, as it is a first person account. In it, you can include pain levels as they change throughout the day, any loss of sleep, emotional problems that arise, frustrations over new physical and mental limitations associated with your disability, and a record of dates and times of any activities you participate in and how they were impacted. This type of journal is some of the best evidence you can supply when applying for Social Security benefits.

If you or a loved one is currently applying for, or has been denied social security benefits, you may need the help of an experienced social security lawyer. Contact your local Central Florida attorneys, at the Coye Law Firm, for a free consultation and more information.

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