BOISE, ID –Our Boise Social Security lawyers continually stress that the most important thing you can do to help your claim for Social Security benefits is to make certain to visit the doctor. It is important, however, to ensure that certain things are accomplished during these visits to help your case. Below you will find helpful advice to keep in mind during your doctor’s visit. But it is important that you discuss your individual disability, symptoms, and limitations with our Social Security attorneys for further helpful advice.
1. Make Certain That You See A Doctor and Not a Physician’s Assistant (PA) or Nurse Practitioner (NP)—Today many doctors employ an NP, PA, or other medical care provider to maximize the number of patients that can be seen in their office daily. This is also used as a cost cutting measure. However, while these individuals are educated, they are not licensed physicians. Social Security places significant weight on the opinions of an actual doctor, but fail to extend this weight to opinions provided by another medical professional.
If you are currently seeing an NP or PA, try to find a doctor in your area that you can see as soon as possible. When planning your appointments, ensure that you will be seen by a licensed physician.
2. Maintain A Journal—This is the perfect way to keep track of your health status and any difficulties you may experience with your daily life in between doctor’s visits. This is especially true if you suffer from headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, or another condition that can result in your condition changing from day to day. Take your journal with you to your appointments to help the doctor better understand the mental and physical limitations you are experiencing. Make certain that you write down specific examples with respect to your ability to sit, walk, reach, lift, concentrate, etc. Consider the following examples:
- You experience trouble breathing after walking up the stairs in your home.
- You were unable to lift a gallon of milk out of the refrigerator due to pain. As a result, you had to request assistance.
- It took you 30 minutes to read 4 pages of a book because you had difficulty understanding or remembering the content.
- You had to request assistance in writing out checks for your monthly bills due to wrist pain.
3. Visit Your Doctor Monthly (Or As Often As Possible)—Social Security pays particular attention to how frequently you visit the doctor. They associate how often you see the doctor with the severity of your condition. A person that only sees the doctor every 6 months does not appear as ill as someone who is scheduled for monthly checkups unless there is significant objective evidence to support your disability. Make certain that you make your doctor’s office aware of any changes in your condition in between appointments.