At administrative hearings with Social Security judges, our Hoglund lawyers argue disability methodically: (1) Diagnosis, (2) imaging studies to support the diagnosis, (3) examination findings, and (4) client testimony. Social Security’s decisions are primarily driven by medical treatment evidence. So, getting the right medical treatment can make or break a case.
Four questions arise most frequently from our clients about medical treatment:
① Should I tell my doctor about my psychological needs? Yes. Depression, for example, is common for those with chronic pain. I tell my clients to mention their legitimate concerns to their doctors.
② Should I treat for medical problems that doctors cannot fix? Yes. Some of our clients stop treating because medical care isn’t helping their symptoms, such as headaches. But avoiding doctors offers no medical proof for Social Security. Our clients should maintain appropriate doctor appointments at regular intervals. This has two benefits. One, it helps our clients’ doctors review the progress of the medical problems. Two, it helps Social Security judges verify these problems.
③ How much medical treatment should I get? Enough that doctors you trust are satisfied with your care. Don’t get treatment to “game” the system.
④ Should I call my Social Security attorney about whether to get surgery? No. While it is good to keep us up-to-date about medical problems, I tell my clients to consult with their physician about what medical decisions are best for them. Legally, Social Security judges will find the need for surgery relevant.
In short, clients should make good medical decisions to get better, not to get benefits.
If you are not our Social Security Benefits client yet, consult our law offices about your particular situation toll-free at: 1-800-850-7867.
Andrew W. Kinney, Esq.