Overview of Disability

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Your Medical Evidence

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Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

If I am waiting for a Disability Hearing, how often should I see my doctor?

Here is a question that was submitted:

"I have applied for disability and been denied, I have an attorney now and she has appealed to go in front of the judge. Now my question is this, I do not have insurance any longer as I have been out of work for over 2 years. I was wondering if anyone had an opinion about how often I should go see my doctor, as it is now I go just for my refills every 4-6 months."

This is the answer that was given:

This is always a tough issue. Disability claims are won on the basis of both vocational (job related) and medical information. However, it's the medical information that A) allows a decision-maker (a judge or an examiner, depending on the level of the claim) to determine how far back a disability exists (onset is very important when it comes to back pay, but also in reducing the effect of waiting periods) and B) just as importantly, allows the determination to be made as to whether or not a person is currently disabled.

Without recent medical record documentation, it is not possible to receive an approval for disability. What is recent? "Recent" is information that is not older than 90 days. By the time your hearing date comes around, you will want to have recent treatment, preferably by a treating physician (essentially, a doctor who has an established history of providing treatment to you) which it sounds like you have.

There may not be a way to time this. But you certainly don't want to get to a hearing and have a very large gap in your treatment history. Since you have an attorney, you may want to ask what the average wait time is for hearings in your area. The attorney may be able to give you a ballpark figure based on how scheduling has gone in the last year or two. Social Security is obligated to give you and your attorney at least 20 days advance notice of the hearing, but, typically, you get at least a month's advance notice of the disability hearing date.

If by the time you get a hearing date, you haven't been seen in quite some time you'll probably want to get seen to get some recent documentation on record, preferably by a treating physician who may also supply a medical source statement in support of your case (which your attorney will most likely attempt to request, since a treating physician's statement, when it is consistent with the remainder of the medical records, can have a powerful effect on a case).

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

How does a person get approved for disability benefits
How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
How does SSA determine if a claim will be a denial or an approval?
Do you have to quit your job before filing for disability?
Can you qualify for Social Security Disability on the basis of fibromyalgia?
What are the requirements and criteria for social security disability?
Can you get disability if you are younger age?
Disability at age 50 or older
Social Security Disability SSI and proving you can't work
How Residual Functional Capacity affects Social Security Disability and SSI claims
If I am waiting for a Disability Hearing, how often should I see my doctor?
Calling Social Security about a Disability Exam that was scheduled
How does social security decide your disability claim?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida