Posted on 21 Jul, 2016
When attempting to prove the presence of pain and other symptoms in your disability claim, credibility is the key. Although severe enough to keep someone from working, issues like chronic pain, memory problems, fatigue, or shortness of breath are often difficult for the Social Security Administration to measure. It can be challenging to demonstrate a need for disability compensation with these symptoms. Although someone may experience debilitating and intense pain that leaves them unable to function in a work setting, their medical tests may appear normal, or only mildly abnormal. Read on to learn how to prove you’re in pain in an SSDI claim.
Because medical testing can be unreliable in these situations, becoming a credible witness for yourself is crucial to secure the benefits you need.
What are your daily activities?In what part of your body are the symptoms occurring, for how long, and how intensely?What causes the symptoms to appear or worsen?What medications have you tried to mitigate your symptoms, did they make an impact, and where there any side effects?Have you attempted other treatments beyond medication?Have you tried homeopathic treatments?What other factors are important to understanding why the symptoms limit your ability to work or live normally?
Consistency and honesty in describing your symptoms are important. Keep a journal recording your symptoms, noting any progression or changes. Demonstrate that you are following your doctor’s recommendations.
Being honest when you describe your symptoms will go a long way to prove your case. Those who review your claim are experienced. They will be able to tell if you are exaggerating your situation. However, do not understate your symptoms either. Providing details that demonstrate how your symptoms have impacted your daily activities and ability to maintain a job is extremely important for your claim. Consistency is crucial when reporting your symptoms. Examiners and judges will be looking at your case, examining it for any inconsistencies. If it appears that your facts contradict themselves, your claim could be dismissed.
Keeping a journal that records your symptoms can become an important tool in stating your case. A journal provides a written account of your symptoms, how they have impacted your life, and whether they have gotten worse over time. When your case is examined, it may be difficult for you to remember certain details that occurred months prior. Keeping a journal will help you track specific instances in a way that is readily accessible if you need them.
Listening to your doctor and trying to follow their treatment plan as closely as possible is crucial to your claim as well. If the examiners do not think you are taking your medication as prescribed or participating in rehabilitation, they may feel that your symptoms are not as serious as your are presenting them to be.
Lastly, you should consider consulting our experienced disability attorneys. We can advise you on the best way to present your case to the Social Security Administration.