The most important thing you can do to help your case is to continue to seek medical care, even if this is from a free or reduced fee clinic. Without medical evidence of your disability, your case becomes harder to prove. If you do not have free or reduced care available to you, talk to your Doctor and have them note in your records that you have been unable to afford treatment. Discuss with your doctor any low-cost ways to manage your condition. Some doctors will allow you to contact them by phone to update your condition or do medication changes as one way to cut expenses. Other doctors may charge you a lower rate if you are self pay. But if you do not ask Social Security may hold the lack of treatment against you. SSA works from the position that if your disabled and can’t work, your top priority should be obtaining medical care.
When you do see a doctor, especially a new one, pick up 2 business cards. One to keep in your possession and one to give to your attorney. Write the date you first saw the doctor (or picked up the card) on the back. This will be all the information your attorney needs to give to Social Security or help to obtain your records.
Talk to your doctors about supporting your disability case. If they think you can work, that will be evident in their records. If your doctor is supportive, speak to them about given a medical statement. Ask your attorney to give a medical statement form to take to your next appointment.
Follow your doctor’s suggestions. If your doctor tells you to exercise, lose weight, take your medications, stop smoking etc.. you need to comply with these directions. If you cannot, talk to your doctor about it, ask them for help, and do the best you can. Even if it is something small and you’re not successful, attempts to comply are treated more favorably then doing nothing.
Keep your attorney updated of any changes in your conditions, address, phone number, and other events in your life. Your attorney may be able to aid you with other things going on, like child support issues, debts, foreclosure, or refer you to someone who can. Being unable to work affects all aspects of your life and these types of issues are not uncommon. Telling your attorney is the only way they can help you.