By: Melissa A. Davidson

Clients often ask me what they can do to help improve their chances of winning their disability case. Whether you are trying for Social Security disability benefits or disability benefits from an insurance company, it is absolutely necessary to get treatment for your conditions.

Social Security Ruling 96-7p states, “No symptom or combination of symptoms can be the basis for a finding of disability, no matter how genuine the individual’s complaints may appear to be, unless there are medical signs and laboratory findings demonstrating the existence of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) that could reasonably be expected to produce the symptoms.” This means that the claimant must have been seen by a doctor who makes note of symptoms and their resulting limitations. Medical signs and laboratory findings include not only tests such as x-rays, MRIs, EMGs and blood work, but also observations of the doctor such as limited range of motion, difficulty walking, muscle weakness or atrophy, etc.

It is important to see a doctor regularly and try to get the testing they recommend. With the new health care laws, numerous reduced cost or free clinics, and the Eskenazi Health Advantage Program (formerly Wishard Advantage), there are no excuses for not getting medical or psychological treatment. If you are in the Eskenazi Advantage program and have difficulty getting an appointment, please call your case administrator here at Hankey Marks & Crider. We will be happy to assist you in getting Eskenazi to schedule your appointments.

For those of you with pending long term disability claims with an insurance company, those policies require that you be under the regular care of a doctor. Even if your doctor has very little to offer you in the way of treatment or help, you must continue to see the doctor and have your condition documented as an ongoing problem.