Category: Helping Hands Blog
Published: Monday, 21 July 2014 16:01
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medical doctorDeveloping Medical Records With No Money

One of the many problems associated with the Social Security disability benefits application process is the necessary medical review. The Administration makes it very clear that they want to see a well-documented history of the medical problem causing your disability. The best option is to routinely visit a regular doctor where a clear medical record can be gathered. It can also is very beneficial to have multiple, unrelated doctors provide the same diagnosis, as long as you are not doctor-hopping for medications. Unfortunately the only way to get a good medical history is to go to doctors and doctors tend to cost a lot of money. However, there are a couple of options that might assist you in developing a medical history when money is not available.


You can wait for the Administration

First, if the Administration feels that your records are inadequate they will ask you to be seen by a doctor with whom they are contracted. While this office visit is paid for by the Administration, you should not rely on it for a comprehensive medical review of your situation. For most people this visit is a simple interview where they sit down and are asked a multitude of questions about their medical condition, how it affects them and how they feel they are coping psychologically. Although these visits are with a doctor, there may be no physical exam conducted and the interview can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.

In other cases, especially for heart complications, the Administration may schedule additional physical testing which is paid for by the Administration, however you cannot rely on receiving one of these appointments before being summarily denied.

Or you can do it on your own

So the question is, “How do I develop a medical record without spending a lot of money?” Start with an internet search. Consider search terms like free medical clinic, free health clinic, free health screening, free family health, and homeless medical care. What we are looking for are health facilities that will provide medical care for low income persons. Usually these clinics are operated as a public service so they will not charge or will charge a very minimal amount. Some clinics will also provide basic medical testing.

When you visit these clinics, focus on the main medical problem causing your disability. Usually the clinics are very busy and the doctors or nurse practitioners do not have a lot of time. In addition, the reason for being there is to document your disabling condition, so you want the medical professional to focus on that problem. Make sure you write down the name of the clinic, its location, the date, time and the medical professional’s name who examined you so you can give the information to the Social Security Administration. They will need to contact the clinic to get your new medical records.

Keep it going

Make it a monthly habit to visit the same clinic so you can start developing the needed paper trail. If, during your visit, the doctor indicates that treatment is outside the scope of their practice, request information about other free or low cost clinics that may be able to provide treatment and make sure you visit those clinics. Follow any suggestions the doctor may give that he feels will improve your situation, even if it does not seem to help.

The down-side to this idea is that people who live in or near large cities will fare better than those in rural areas when following this plan due to the larger number of resources that are available within most cities. However, with some due diligence and possibly even deep sleuthing, one can usually find at least one doctor or clinic that will see them for little or no cost. Focusing on developing a good paper trail should go a long way when trying to obtain Social Security disability benefits.



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About the Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers
Recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms, The Cochran Firm handles cases on behalf of clients seeking a Personal Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice, Bankruptcy Attorney in Atlanta or Social Security Disability Lawyer.The Firm can be reached at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or fill out the form on this page. “Working for You.” Article by Benjamin A. Irwin, Esq.