Tricky Questions You May Be Asked in the First Six Months

Artwork: Robin Mead

In the first six months, you may be sent to a visit with the Social Security doctor.

You will also (hopefully) continue to see your own doctors.

These are questions that can come up in the doctor’s office that may be very important.

Some people find it is helpful to keep a diary of all of your symptoms and problems for a week. (You will be surprised how long it gets!) Then you can create a list for yourself with all your symptoms and limitations. This can be helpful to look at when filling out forms or talking to your doctor.

🌞 Can You Manage Your Own Finances?

You may be asked this by your doctor or by the Social Security Doctor or by someone who works at Social Security.

Your answer can have a big impact on the rest of your life. It is up to you how you want to answer. If a doctor writes that you cannot handle finances, then after your case is approved, you will not be allowed to manage your own disability money. You will need to select someone you trust to handle your disability money for you, or social security may appoint someone. To learn more about this google: social security representative payee.

I should probably mention: Nearly everyone who has a representative payee hates it. Once you get into this situation it is very difficult or impossible to get out of.

🌞 Why Can’t You Work?

It is important to understand that you will only be approved for disability if your reasons for not working are medical. If you are not working for other reasons, you will not be approved. (For example, you cannot be approved if you are not working because of problems with childcare, transportation, a bad boss, unemployment or a bad economy)

🌞 Why Can’t You Do Sedentary Work?

You may not be asked this question directly, but it is something you should ask yourself and keep in mind. If you are under the age of 50, your file will need to show that you cannot do full-time work of any kind. If you are over the age of 50, your file will sometimes (but not always) need to show that you cannot do full-time work of any kind. This means you cannot be a ticket taker, a laundry folder, a file clerk, or a telephone operator.

🌞 What is the Reason You Are Making This Doctor Appointment?

They ask you this when you book the appointment, and again when you arrive. If you are applying for disability, it is important to continue regular visits and treatment for each of the conditions you are applying for.

If you are applying for Bipolar, it will not matter if you see the doctor for a broken foot. You will also want to set up an additional appointment just for the condition you are applying for.

🌞 How Are You Today? Why Are You Here?

At the beginning of your appointment, your doctor may be taking notes. Everything you say may get written into your records. It is important to use this time to give your doctor a full update on your condition. Do not assume your doctor knows and remembers all your symptoms or how severe your condition is.

Please don’t be shy about repeating yourself each and every visit. You want your records to reflect exactly what is happening with your condition in this moment. How you talk with your doctor may be very important and may make a big difference in your case. Learn more: How to Have Great Doctor Visits

🌞 How Well Can You Function? Are You Having Difficulties Sitting, Standing, Walking? Do You Need Help with Bathing, Dressing, Eating, Household Chores?

Your doctor probably will not ask these questions…. even though they are very important! If this kind of information is in your ongoing records, this can be a big help.

Even if your doctor does not ask, it is very helpful if you can briefly bring up this topic. You can also collect and read your records to see if this kind of information is being noted. Your doctor may write down what you say, or she may write down her own medical opinion, or she may perform some small tests in the office, such as asking you to walk or stand with your eyes close, and then write down her observations.

If this kind of information does not appear anywhere in your records, don’t be mad at your doc. Doctors don’t know the Social Security rules. You may chose to talk to your doc and request a few brief notes on functioning at each of your visits.

🌞 What Are Your Limitations? How Long Can You Stand/Sit/Walk?

Some disability lawyers recommend to answer this type of question by describing your worst day. You can do this by starting your sentences using the magic words. The magic words are “When my symptoms are severe…” Or “On days when I have bad symptoms…” Learn more: How Roselyn Got Approved by Using the Magic Words


🌞 Learn more about going to a visit with the Social Security doctor: How To Hang With the Social Security Doctor

🌞 You may also want to take a look back through Tricky Questions You Were Asked When You First Applied. If you feel you left something important out on your initial forms, it is not too late. You are allowed to follow up with more information. It is best to follow up in writing and send it to the right person. How to Submit.

🌞 Ideally, everything you write on your disability application will be similar to what your doctors write in your file. This is especially important when writing about your symptoms, limitations, and activities. How to Paint a Consistent Picture

🌞 If you are well enough to take a few extra steps, there are a bunch more things you can do to make your application the best application ever. You can do these things before you apply, while you apply, or after you apply.

Updated May 2017. Please comment below with stories, questions, input or ideas. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 🌞

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