Articles Posted in Medical Records

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At a typical disability hearing, you can expect plenty of questions about your medical condition, the treatment you are undergoing and other medical and health-related aspects of your case. It’s very important to be absolutely certain about the kind of limitations your condition places on you. Being vague, or sounding uncertain at a disability hearing, could prove disastrous for your case.

For instance, if you are seeking disability benefits for a condition that involves a lot of pain, you will be expected to describe the intensity of your pain. Being vague, hesitating, or exaggerating your symptoms will not help. The judge may also ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10, and you should be able to do so without any hesitation.

You must also be prepared to provide very detailed and specific answers to questions about the nature of your symptoms, and the physical and mental limitations that they impose on you. If your job requires you to carry heavy loads, and you’re unable to do that because of your condition, be prepared to explain this to the judge at the disability hearing.

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If the examiner handling your disability claim wants you to undergo a consultative medical exam, it may be in your best interest to do so.  Keep in mind, however, that being asked to undergo a consultative medical exam doesn’t necessarily mean that your examiner does not believe you have a genuine claim for benefits.  It may simply mean that they want more information about your condition.

Typically, a consultative medical exam is very brief, and is performed by a doctor who is paid by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to conduct your exam. These doctors do not work for SSA, but are contracted by the agency to perform these services. You might find that the doctor in charge of your consultative medical exam is very brief, and even possibly curt with you. It’s not uncommon for patients to be bewildered at the rudeness that they encounter from the physician performing their consultative medical exam. Don’t take it personally. The fact is that you are not an ongoing patient of the doctor and therefore, he or she may not feel the need to be particularly cordial or expansive in their explanations.

Also, remember that the doctor will be looking for signs that your condition is not as medically impairing as you’ve claimed it to be.  If you walk into the doctor’s office with a limp, don’t be surprised to find him peeking from behind curtains to make sure that you’re not walking back to the car with a spring in your step.