How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

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).

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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?
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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

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.