“Hi, my name is Andrew Kinney. I’m an attorney practicing law at Hoglund Law offices. I also practice Social Security Disability Law. Today I wanted to talk about developing medical evidence for your social security claim.
One of the most common questions people think about when applying for social security is “How can I get approved?”. Well, the most important thing we tell our clients is you need to regularly treat with your doctors and specialists if necessary. Why? Because social security is primarily looking at the medical evidence form you’re treating doctors to make a decision on whether you’re unable to work full-time and it will be expected to last a year. So, if you think about it, you can write all the forms you want about your particular problems and that is necessary for social security applications and for the later forms that you’ll get, but what’s more important is that you have a relationship with your doctor where your doctor knows what’s wrong and has diagnosed you properly.
So, developing medical evidence in a file is crucial. So, when social security needs to know where records are at the first 3 stages the application, and reconsideration stage, it’s important that you lay out everywhere you’ve had treatment that’s relevant. Now, as you approach hearing, the third stage of a social security claim, that’s very important that there’s an update from the hearing request all the way through to the hearing day. That is what your attorney can help a lot with. Now it’s always important to get all the evidence from your treating doctor that’s given. What else can you get aside form specific medical evidence from treating doctors that will help you? Well, that’s where creative evidence comes into play.
There are times when an attorney can get evidence that isn’t from your treating doctor for treatment but is related to your medical condition. For example, if there’s a VA claim where you’re getting VA benefits, there’s a decision that supports that. We can get those. There are other times that you might have a child support hearing where you’re proving you can’t work and your doctor may have signed off on some statement for that. We can get those. A lot of people have workers comp claims. We get that information from those. Some people have personal injury claims and on and on. There are records that exist beyond your normal medical records and even records that exist that aren’t even medical records that are important to help your case before and after your hearing.
So an example would be if you keep a journal of seizures. Other people could also write down how often you have seizures if you lose consciousness. That’s a classic example of a journal that can help your doctor certainly, but it can also be used, and we would submit evidence of that, because otherwise you can necessarily testify about that at a hearing because you may be unaware of the situations.
The idea is, is that there are no holds barred to what you can’t offer in evidence. What it comes down to is good legal judgment as to what would help the judge make a decision, what would help the judge make a decision and what would essentially be non-essential or irrelevant. There are also situations after hearings where you can get further evidence. Until the hearing decision comes in there are times when we might need to fill a gap or a hole that appears based on what happens at the hearing. In those situations you can get a medical opinion specific to that problem. We can also get evidence after a hearing if there is new evidence that just comes in or if you forgot about evidence and remembered it. If there’s ever a time that you forgot about evidence, maybe a visit to a neurologist, a one-time visit. It’s always important to let your attorney know before a hearing, during a hearing, or even after a hearing because what we try to do is get the evidence in at some point in time ideally before the hearing, but in some point in time to allow the judge to consider that in your case.
If you have more questions about how to develop medical evidence and how important legal judgment is in that. You can also refer to a recent blog on www.HoglundLaw.com that I wrote on that subject. You can also call our number if you have questions about social security generally at 1-800-850-7867. Thank you.”