Heather Creates a Paper Trail

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Artwork: Robin Mead

Guest Post by Heather Shaw, RN

Social Security takes what your doctor says into strong consideration. That is why it is so important to see your doctor every six weeks or so — more often if you have a change in symptoms. This shows that you have continued to seek treatment, your symptoms are consistent, and you are compliant with your visits.

When you create this kind of paper trail with your doctor, Social Security will look at your records and see a distinct pattern. They are looking for consistency. They want to see that you are seeing your doctor, and doing what they are telling you to do. If you aren’t following treatments, they want documentation as to why.

Communication with your doctor is SOOOOO important. Let your doctor know what is going on with you, even if nothing is changing. Make sure that every time you go, you are address the biggest health issues you are experiencing.

The hospital system I see my doctors through, has an online system, so I can message my doctor with questions about my visit or medications etc. I will frequently message her and let her know if I’m having an exacerbation in my symptoms, so that my information becomes a part of my permanent medical record.

Social Security wants this kind of paper trail that will show that you are sick, you continue to be sick, you are not getting better, your illness limiting your life, and that you are profoundly affected by your illness.


Learn More

How to Work with Your Doctor to Get Great Disability Documentation

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