Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Social Security Disability Update

There is a new rule on Fibromyalgia. SSR 12-2p pertains to evaluating the disease. The policy on this is to make sure there is solid medical evidence of fibromyalgia. Merely having a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is not enough. They will review the physicians notes to see if they document the condition over time. The point is that when seeking disability that there be decent medical evidence of the condition including strength and functional abilities. Read what it says so that the treating physician can be alerted when providing a report. Getting your ducks lined up is important in obtaining disability benefits. Often relying on a diagnosis alone is dangerous. You may know your situation but the details are important in any case. Many times I have seen doctors say you have problems but that is only part of the story. The big part is how it affects you and has it been established in the records. Moreover as part of this update it is important to know that they are tightening up on issuing favorable decisions. One attorney posted on his blog about this with links to other commentators. With approval rates down you can expect that attorneys will be careful on taking a case. In turn a claimant should check with other attorneys if your first choice declines to take your case. Many times I was surprised that an attorney had declined a case which I thought with good effort was winnable. It is all a matter of experience and personal style with an attorney so if you truly believe you are not employable keep trying to obtain an attorney to work with and follow his suggestions. You can help with your own case not so much by knowing the law as by following through on your attorneys suggestions. He will want to line up your claim and any way you can help will improve your chances. For example in many cases I have used questionnaires for a doctor to fill out. They help document your condition and your functional abilities. The claimant being a patient of the doctor may be asked to bring this to his doctor and ask for his help. If your doctor is really supportive then he will do it at low or no charge. You help your own case by following along with the plan of your attorney. At present if disability approvals are going down that is all the more reason to follow your attorney's plan.


Ryan Montgomery said...

Great update. I am screening cases more carefully in S.C. with the fibromyalgia change.

Disability Attorney said...

Yeah, I think it was the right thing. Many people with Fibromyalgia are still able to work.