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Idaho Disability Lawyers

Chronic Fatigue

As any good disability lawyer will tell you, there are some conditions that are more difficult to get on disability for than others.  One of those conditions is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS.  This is primarily because CFS seems to be a diagnosis that is used to describe a loosely related set of symptoms that can not be explained by any other means, the primary symptom of which is fatigue. If you have been told by your doctor that you have CFS, contact a Boise disability lawyer in our Boise, Idaho office today to get more information on how you can prepare your case to successfully apply for Social Security Disability Benefits.

social-security-disability-attorney-justice-300x199In 2014, Social Security released SSR 14-1p entitled “Evaluating Claims Involving Chronic  Fatigue Syndrome” to help claimants and their attorneys to better understand how CFS fits into Social Security’s set of medically determinable impairments.  SSR 14-1p replaced SSR 99-2p, which was published in 1999 and first established how Social Security would deal with claims of Chronic Fatigue.

One of the key concepts in Social Security Disability that a disability lawyer must make sure every claim has is a medically determinable impairment or “MDI”.  Certain conditions such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are a set of symptoms that can’t otherwise be explained, which makes them difficult to diagnose, except by eliminating other sources of the symptoms.  SSR 14-1p helps establish when chronic fatigue can be established as an MDI.

In general, SSR 14-1p defines Chronic Fatigue as a clinically evaluated, persistent or relapsing chronic fatigue that :

  1. Has a specific onset
  2. Is not explained by another identifiable condition or illness
  3. Is not related to exertion
  4. Is not alleviated by rest
  5. Results in a significant reduction in your ability to perform important occupational, social or personal activities.

Diagnostic Symptoms:  Social Security points to the CDC case definition of Chronic Fatigue states that a person must have four or more of the following specific symptoms for 6 or more months:

  • Tiredness after exerting yourself that lasts for 24 hours or more
  • Difficulty with memory and concentration
  • Soar Throat
  • Tender lymph nodes in your neck
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headaches
  • Waking unrefreshed
  • Muscle weakness
  • Problems sleeping
  • Visual difficulties
  • Fainting, dizziness or fatigue with prolonged standing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cardiovascular abnormalities
  • Stomach Problems

There are also certain conditions that people with Chronic Fatigue also commonly suffer from, including:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Temporomandibular joint syndrome
  • Irritable Bowell Syndrome
  • Interstitial systitis
  • Raynauds phenomenon
  • Migraines
  • Chronic Lymphocitic Thyroiditis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • New allergies or sensitivities (cold all the time)

Disability lawyers know that Social Security will not simply take your doctor at his word that you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  You will need a good Social Security attorney to help Social Security to find evidence of the above signs and conditions and show if you have other conditions that may be causing these signs and conditions.  Social Security will require medical signs or laboratory findings that support your diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue before they will consider that it constitutes an MDI.

Medical Signs—Social Security will look for one or more of the following medical signs that last longer than 6 months:

  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes  on physical examination
  • Sore throat (nonexudative)
  • Tender Points
  • Other, less persuasive, signs such as Frequent viral infections, Sinusitis, Ataxia, Extreme pallor, Pronounced weight change

Laboratory Findings—Your Disability Attorney should point out the following to Social Security to indicate your diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue is legitimate:

  • An elevated antibody titer to Epstein-Barr virus capsid antigen equal to ore greater than 1:5120, or early antigen equal to or greater than 1:640
  • Abnormal MRI of the brain
  • Hypotention
  • Abnormal exercise stress test
  • Abnormal sleep studies

In addition to those discussed above, your disability lawyer may be able to point to other medical signs and laboratory findings that Social Security may accept in deciding your Chronic Fatigue diagnosis constitutes an MDI.  The key is that your doctor explains carefully what medical sings and laboratory findings he has considered in making his diagnosis.  A diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue will be much stronger the more conditions that have been ruled out as possible causes for your signs and symptoms.

Contact our Boise disability lawyers today for a free case evaluation and find out if you meet the criteria for Social Security Disability.

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Social Security Disability Doctors

Social Security Disability Attorneys

Disability Attorneys

When you’re trying to get on Social Security disability, your health care professional(s) play a very important role. Not all treating sources are equal when it comes to establishing your disability.  Social Security has what it calls “acceptable medical sources.”  Its important that you have at least one acceptable medical source and that you are seeing this person regularly.  For more information on what kind of medial professionals are acceptable to Social Security, see our post on Acceptable Medical Sources.  If you have questions, please contact one of our Boise Social Security Attorneys.

Social security gives a great deal of weight to the opinions of your treating physician.  This is because your treating physician sees you regularly, so he or she is most familiar with the nature of your disability and how severe it is.   For this reason, it is important that you see your treating physician regularly and often.  Its also important that you make the most out of these visits.

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Your physician will never be asked to decide if you are disabled or not—Social Security believes it is their job to decide this.  However, he or she will usually be asked to give a statement regarding their opinion of how your symptoms will limit your ability to work. Then Social Security will consider these limitations and decide what jobs, if any, you can do.

When you visit your doctor, it is important that you tell him or her all about your symptoms and how they limit you in your daily activities. Be sure to tell your doctor about the duration, location, frequency and intensity of your symptoms and what the aggravating factors are. Also describe things like the side effects of any medications that could keep you from working and if the medication is effective or not. When you do this, what you say will make it into the doctor’s records.  For helpful more tips on maximizing the benefit of your doctor’s visits, see our posts on6 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Doctors Visits – Part 1 and Part 2.

If your doctor doesn’t have enough medical evidence in his records for Social Security to decide if you are disabled or not, they may request that you have additional tests or examinations. These tests are not to provide medical treatment to you. Instead, they are meant to give Social Security a recent idea of your condition and limitations. Consultative exams might be psychiatric or physical in nature. Whichever it is, be sure to give them all of your symptoms and describe all of your limitations.  If you do have to have tests or exams done by a consulting physician, you won’t have to pay the fee. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that these examinations must be done by a physician, osteopath or psychologist (in some circumstances other health professions can be used).

A state agency doctor’s opinion may also be used to determine the outcome of your disability claim. They include osteopaths, psychologists with a Ph.D., and licensed medical doctors. You do not meet these doctors. They make their decision by reviewing and evaluating your medical evidence to see if your impairments meet Social Securities requirements, assessing the severity of your symptoms and how badly they affect your ability to work, and by assessing your remaining physical and mental functions. Medical consultants might also look at ways to get more medical evidence.

If your case goes before an administrative law judge (ALJ), the judge may request the testimony of a medical expert on a complex medical issue. Medical experts differ from medical consultants in that they don’t say whether you should be allowed Social Security disability benefits or not. Their only job is to testify at hearings. Typically they respond to the judge’s questions and give answers for hypothetical situations created by the judge or your disability attorney.

If you have any questions regarding the role of health care professionals in receiving Social Security benefits, please contact one of our Social Security attorneys. They can help you understand the process and know what to say to your doctors to maximize the chances of you winning your hearing.

Originally posted 2014-02-12 15:45:44.

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Musculoskeletal Examinations

Musculoskeletal Examinations

Your chances for receiving your disability for neck, back or joint condition depends on the quality of the medical evidence you can present to Social Security.  Not every doctor visit is the same.  You should request a full physical examination at each visit that includes important observations that will support your complaints of pain and limitation.  Contact one a Social Security Attorney in our Nampa Idaho office for an evaluation of your situation and what steps you can take to get your disability claim on track.

If you suffer from spinal symptoms, your examination should include observations from your doctor regarding the following:

  • gait
  • range of motion of the spine given quantitatively in degrees from the vertical position (zero degrees)
  • straight-leg raising from the sitting and supine position (zero degrees),
  • appropriate tension signs
  • motor and sensory abnormalities
  • muscle spasm
  • deep tendon reflexes

Be aware that your doctor will also include observations during the examination such as how you get on and off the examination table, your Inability to walk on the heels or toes, to squat, or to arise from a squatting position. Your doctor should note atrophy by taking  circumferential measurements of both thighs and lower legs, or both upper and lower arms, as appropriate.  Atrophy also requires a measurement of the strength of the affected muscles based on a grading system of 0 to 5, with 0 being complete loss of strength and 5 being maximum strength. A specific description of atrophy of hand muscles should include measurements of grip and pinch strength.

Your condition will change over time and may respond to treatments.  It is not enough to have a single evaluation, no matter how extensive, or to have several evaluations over a period of time, and then stop seeing your doctor.  Social Security will want to see over the period of time you are claiming disability that your condition persists.

Major Joints

Major joints refers to the major peripheral joints, which are the hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist-hand, and ankle-foot.  It dos not include peripheral joints such as fingers or forefoot or axial joints such as the spine.  The wrist and hand are considered together as one major joint, as are the ankle and foot.  If your condition involves a major joint, you will want to have regular examinations as for these joints covering the aspects described above.


If you have a severe musculoskeletal condition that will qualify you for disability, you will almost certainly have tried several unsuccessful treatments.  Your record should include, medical treatment (including surgical treatment) with documentation of its effectiveness in terms of the signs, symptoms, and laboratory abnormalities of the disorder, and in terms of any side effects from the treatment that create their own limitations.

Treatment and adverse consequences of treatment will vary widely. For example, a pain medication may reduce your pain to some degree, but will have side effects such as  drowsiness, dizziness, or disorientation, that may make it impossible to work. Each case is different and must be document with objective observations from your doctor.

Hopefully your doctor’s note will contain a specific description of the drugs or treatment given (including surgery), dosage, frequency of administration, and a description of the complications or response to treatment.  Because some effects of treatment may be temporary, review of your condition over a long period of time will be critical in establishing the nature of your condition.

If for whatever reason you have not received ongoing treatment, whether because of financial concerns or because you simply failed to see the need to continue seeing your doctor because you were not seeing improvement from your recommended treatment, etc, you need to begin seeing a doctor regularly while you await your hearing.

You need to do everything in your power to find a low-cost or no-cost clinic so that you can continue to documents your condition.  In such cases, evaluation will be made on the basis of the current objective medical evidence and other available evidence. Even though may not receive treatment your doctor’s objective observations form a significant basis for showing an impairment that meets the criteria of one of the musculoskeletal listings.

Contact one of our Social Security Attorneys Nampa Idaho to discuss the specifics of your case.  You will receive a consultation with an actual local Social Security Attorney.



Originally posted 2014-01-05 04:24:19.

Social Security Attorneys Boise Idaho

Completing The Function Report

Social Security Attorneys Boise IdahoHow To Complete The Adult Functional Report

One of the most important forms you will complete in your Social Security Disability Application is the Function Report.  You will actually see this type of report more than once.  When you initially apply, Social Security will send you SSA Form 3373 (the “Function Report-Adult”).  The Function Report is intended to determine what abilities you have and focuses on you daily activities.  One of our Social Security Attorneys Boise Idaho can help you to complete the form in a way that accurately reflects your physical and mental capacities.

Important:  When it comes to describing your limitations, be as detailed as necessary to illustrate the severity of your condition. Otherwise, less is more when completing the Function Report.  Use your worst days as a reference, but be sure to indicate that your answer is based on a worst day.  We find that the Function Report is cited most often to deny claims and medical records are what will get your claim approved.  Your goal in completing the Function Report is to give Social Security an accurate sense of what you CAN NOT do (not what you can do) in a way that fosters your credibility.

There are several things to keep in mind when complete the Function Report that will help you to complete it in a way that is most beneficial to your case.  Below are few of those things:

Be completely honest.  Many times we understate our problems and difficulties because nobody likes a whiner.  When you are competing the Function Report is not a time to be stoic.  Tell things as they really are.

Don’t overstate your limitations.  Some people have the tendency to overstate their symptoms.  Be careful to avoid exaggerations.  Your credibility critical to your success.  If the adjudicator thinks he can’t fully trust you, he will discount your claim.

Hobbies.  Don’t list hobbies and activities that you once did but no longer participate in.  If you no longer participate in a hobby or activity because of your limitations and want to use this to illustrate the severity of your condition, make sure that you are very clear as to what your limitations are and put this in response to Question 10 and not Question 18.

If you need more space to illustrate how your life has changed because of your disability, use the comments section at the end.  Give specific symptoms and limitations that prevent you from doing things you loved to do once or how your mental and physical symptoms have caused issues in your social life, personality, important relationships, etc.

House Work and Yard Work. Only list the things that you do NOW.  Don’t list anything that you did even a few months ago, but no longer do.   If you are no longer doing housework or yard work, simply indicate how your limitations prevent you from doing work of any kind.  If you are able to do some chores, don’t feel you need to make a complete list of every little thing you do.  The best way to respond to these types of questions is to pick one light chore that you do and list all of the difficulty you have with doing that chore.Social Security Attorneys  In Banner Ad

For example, you may do dishes.  Don’t simply list “I do dishes.”  Indicate that you do dishes and then indicate all of the limitations that you have.  For example:  “I do dishes when my symptoms are not too severe.  When I can do dishes, I can only stand for 10 minutes and then I have to rest.  My husband has to take care of any large pots and pans.  I can load the dishes in the top of the dishwasher, but I can’t bend over to load the bottom.”  In the above example you would refer directly to the condition, such as back pain, that is causing your limitations.

Important Details to Provide.  When you are describing your symptoms and limitations, provide information as to the frequency, intensity and duration of your symptoms. You can also provide information on how much you can lift, how long you can sit, how long you can stand, how often you have to lay down, elevate your feet, etc.  If you have bad days, be sure to describe what your symptoms are like on these days and how many bad days you have in a month.

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Our Social Security Attorneys can help you to navigate your disability application.

Good days, bad days and your credibility. Most people applying for disability don’t have constant symptoms.  They have good days and bad days.  This can lead to conflicts between your answers on the Function Report and other evidence in your file that can lead Social Security to discount your credibility.  If you don’t indicate to Social Security that your answer to a particular question is based on your bad days, Social Security will compare your answer to other evidence in the file that does not seem to indicate your condition is as severe as you describe and begin to question your credibility.

For example, on a good day you went shopping or for a drive and mention this in passing to your doctor who then puts something in the records like “Feeling better, enjoying shopping”.  But in your Function Report you indicate that you can’t do any shopping because you were thinking about your bad days when you have to stay in bed.  So be sure that you use the phrases “On bad days…..” and indicate how often you have bad days.  You can indicate in response to any question that on your bad days you can’t do anything, but on your good days your can perform certain limited functions.

For example,  in response to question 12, you could indicate that on bad days you do not bathe or shower and your spouse has to help you put your shoes on and button your clothing.  Or on Question 13 you can indicate that on bad days you can not prepare a meal and your roommate will help you out, but on good days you are able to prepare a sandwich or soup.

Your mental capacity.  Mental limitations are particularly difficult to establish.  Your credibility is your best asset here.  If your disability is largely due to cognitive limitations such as concentration, remembering, etc, you will want to provide as many anecdotes as you can that demonstrate your limitations.  For example, “I have to have my brother help me each month with bills because I make too many mistakes with inverting numbers on the checks,” or “I find that I have to re-read something several times before I can get the meaning,” or “my wife has taken over my medications because I can’t remember what I have taken, and I can’t even remember to write it down.”

The Function Report can be a trap for the unwary.  Be sure to speak with one of our Social Security Attorneys In Boise Idaho before you complete your form for detailed advice with respect to your specific disability.

Originally posted 2014-01-03 18:58:00.

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Common Disability Forms

Common Forms You Will Be required To Complete In Social Security Disability Benefits ClaimSocial Security Attorney

You’re disabled and have decided that you want to receive Social Security disability benefits. What do you do next?  To start the process, you will be filling out a lot of forms, both from the Social Security administration and from a Boise Social Security Attorney with Advocate Attorneys.  Below is a brief overview of some of the most common forms you will be completing.

Your disability attorney will send you several forms you need to complete for him. Two of these forms are the SSA-1696 and a fee agreement. The 1696 is the form that appoints your Social Security disability lawyer as your representative. You’re not supposed to name an entire law firm as a representative, but you can name multiple lawyers as representatives if you wish. If you do this, you will have to indicate a main representative because Social Security will only send copies of notices to one representative.

The fee agreement establishes how your disability attorney gets paid.  You will simply have to sign and return it. Typical language used in a fee agreement form is as follows. “There will be no fee unless I win my case. If my claim is approved at any time in the initial, reconsideration, hearing, appeals counsel level, I agree to pay a maximum fee of the lower of (a) twenty-five percent (25%) of past due benefits, or (b) $6,000 (or such higher amount as the Commissioner of Social Security may allow that is in effect at the time of a favorable decision).” If you see language much different than this, of if the attorney wants to charge you an upfront fee, find someone else to represent you.  Your disability lawyer may also send you Form SSA-3288, which is simply a form that allows them to release your records to your representative.

You will also receive Form SSA-827 from Social Security. This form will allow Social Security to request your medical records. Your medical records are very important, because the Social Security administration and the DDS office will look at them to determine whether or not you will receive benefits.

Your initial claim will take somewhere between 90 to 120 days.  Unfortunately, most people are denied at the initial level. The thirty percent or so of claimants who are approved usually have very severe cases that are documented very well by medical records. Don’t get discouraged if you are denied—there is always the reconsideration and the hearing.

If you are denied initially, typically you or your attorney will complete an online version of the Form SSA-561, which is the request for a reconsideration. This form will just briefly ask you why you disagree with the decision. The reconsideration process will usually take another 60-90 days. About 10% of people who file for reconsideration are approved.  If you are denied again, then you or your attorney will complete an online version of the Form HA-501, which is the request for a hearing with an administrative law judge. These forms must be completed within 60 days or your case will be closed.

Waiting for your hearing takes the longest, lasting anywhere from nine to twelve months. If you can show that you are in dire need, you may have your case expedited.  Your disability attorney may also decide that you are a good candidate for an on-the-record-decision, which means you may not have to go before a judge and the process could take much less time. If you do have to go before a judge, don’t be discouraged—this is where most people get approved. Our Boise disability lawyers get 85-90% of our claimants approved at the hearing level.

There are two other very important forms you will see: the SSA Form 3373 (The Function Report, sometimes called the Activities of Daily Living Report) and the SSA Form 3369 (The Work History Report).  These forms are so important that a separate article has been dedicated to completing these forms.  You should seek tips from your Social Security Attorney before completing these forms.

If you have any questions about forms or the disability process, please contact one of our Boise Social Security disability lawyers. Not only can our Social Security lawyers help you fill out all these forms, but they can help you fill them out in a way that helps your case and avoids costly mistakes. They can help you properly state your claim, and they can help answer questions about the forms.

Originally posted 2014-01-02 17:16:27.

Disability Attorneys for Boise, Idaho

Do Age and Education Matter?

Boise, ID – When you’re applying for Social Security disability benefits, your education and age do matter. To understand how, it helps to know a bit about the process the Social Security administration goes through to determine if you are disabled. First, Social Security will try to determine if your disability is equal in severity to one of the impairments in the Listing of Impairments. If your impairment does not meet or equal one of these impairments, but is still severe, then Social Security will determine what you are capable of doing, both mentally and physically, to see if you can return to past work. If you can’t, then your age and education becomes important. Social Security will look at your age and education, in addition to any past work experience, to determine if you can do any other work. One of our disability lawyers can help you with any step of this process. Our disability attorneys for Boise, Idaho can review your case and let you know how your age and education will affect your disability claim.Free Case Evaluation From Boise Disability Lawyer

Age is important because it can be a factor in affecting how well you can adapt to new work experiences or compete with other people. Social Security will put you in one of four groups according to your age. The first is for individuals under 50; the second for individuals between 50 and 54; third, 55 to 59; and fourth is for individuals between 60 and 64. Social Security uses these when determining your residual functional capacity (or RFC). Basically, the older you are, the easier Social Security makes it to determine that you can’t do any work. For more about this, please see the article entitled Ability to Return to Past Relevant Work.

Education is also an important factor. As far as Social Security is concerned, education is any training that contributes to your ability to do work. Just because you don’t have a lot of formal schooling doesn’t mean that you aren’t educated or that you don’t have the abilities you need to work. Past work or hobbies you have could prove that you have intellectual abilities that could be used for work.

How important the Social Security administration thinks the education you have is depends on how much time has passed since you completed your education and when your onset date is. They know that your education may have been completed too long ago for it to still be useful for you in working; however, if you can’t show that your actual education is different from the grade level you completed, then they will have to use it to determine your abilities.

Once again, Social Security divides education level into four groups. The first is illiteracy, which means that you can’t read or write a simple message or understand written instructions. You can still be considered illiterate even if you can sign you name. The second is marginal education, which means that you have some math, English and reasoning skills that will allow you to do simple, unskilled jobs. Generally, marginal education is around a sixth grade education. The next one is limited education, which also means that you can have some math, English and reasoning skills, but not enough to do some of the complex duties needed in semiskilled or skilled jobs.

Generally, limited education means that you have somewhere between a seventh and eleventh grade education. The final category is a high school education and above. The Social Security administration generally thinks that someone with this level of education is capable of doing semiskilled or skilled work. Keep in mind that Social Security also considers your ability to communicate in English, and often considers this as part of the educational factor. Someone who has difficulty speaking or understanding English may have difficulty getting a job, since English is the primary language in the United States.

In a hypothetical example, a claimant is fifty five, has a second grade education hasn’t worked his entire life. Physically, the claimant is capable of doing medium work. (Medium work is defined as being able to lift up to fifty pounds and being capable of standing six hours out of an eight hour work day.) However, the claimant could still be found disabled because the chance of him finding work that he is qualified to do is very small.

Education and age can be very important in determining whether you get disability benefits or not. If you have any questions about the process, you can contact one of our Social Security disability attorneys.

Originally posted 2013-08-07 00:28:35.

Social Security Attorneys for Boise, ID

Disability Determination Services

Social Security Attorneys for Boise, ID - Free Case EvaluationBoise, ID – Our Social Security Attorneys for Boise, ID know that when you apply for Social Security disability, it helps to know about the process. The more you know about the process, the more prepared you will be. Our Social Security disability lawyers are here to help you make the best possible decisions and stay informed. One big part of the Social Security administration is the disability determination services office.

Every state has a disability determination services office (called the DDS). The DDS handles your initial claim, or new applications. They will also be the ones to handle your reconsideration claim if you are denied or any other initial claims you file after the first one. The DDS also handles claims where the outcomes are uncertain and you may get better. This is typical of claimants who have had a heart attack or heart surgery and they apply for disability right away, but it isn’t known yet whether the treatment they receive will be successful or not. If this is the case, the DDS will probably hold your claim to see if you improve and if the treatments will be effective or not and if you are going to have a permanent disability. This period is typically around three months, but if could last more.

Your case will be reviewed by a medical examiner. Medical examiners typically work for the DDS office, making determinations on an applicant’s eligibility for Social Security disability. It helps to know a little bit about this process. Not only can it help you get all the information the medical examiner needs, but it can help you spot errors a busy DDS office might have made. Our social security attorneys can walk you through process.

The first thing the medical examiner will do is gather all your medical records and additional information from you and your doctor(s). This includes things like consultative examination results, medical treatment notes, your past relevant work history and what your educational background is. If they decide that you haven’t seen any doctors within the past three months, than they will probably have you see a consultative examiner to get more information on your physical or mental condition. It is beneficial for you to be seeing a doctor (called a medical treatment source) that is an acceptable treating source by Social Security standards. For more about what constitutes an acceptable medical source, please see the article entitled Acceptable Medical Sources.

The medical examiner will compile all this information and a doctor will be consulted on the severity and nature of your disability. Then the decision is made! Keep in mind that the rules are slightly different for quick disability determination cases, where the facts are straightforward and the outcome is obvious. In these kinds of cases, one examiner is allowed to approve (but not deny!) a claim without a physician review.

There are some things that you need to be cautious about when a decision is being made about you claim. You will know that something’s wrong if a decision is made without enough medical evidence. A medical examiner can’t make a decision without requesting and reviewing your treating doctor’s records or, if you don’t have a treating doctor, without sending you to a consultative examiner. Be wary if the examiner is unable to answer your questions or if he or she seems evasive. Unless your case is a Quick Disability Decision, the examiner must take your claim to a DDS medical consultant to evaluate your medical records.

Keep in mind that most of the claims evaluated by the DDS are denied, so you will probably have to have your case heard by a judge at a disability hearing before you can be approved for benefits. Our Social Security Attorneys for Boise, ID can help you prepare your claim so you can present the best case possible to the judge.

Originally posted 2013-07-25 05:16:59.

Disability lawyers for Boise, ID

6 Things To Make The Most Of Doctor Visits – PT. 2

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BOISE, ID – As discussed in part 1 of this article, the most important thing you can do to help your social security disability application get approved is to see a doctor. And there are some things that you will want to make sure you do in order to get the most out of your doctor visit. In part 1 we discussed the importance of not talking to your Doctor about social security disability and about the importance of keeping a journal. If you haven’t read part one you may want to do so before proceeding to the remaining steps – Part 1

Now lets proceed to the remaining 4 steps for getting the most out of your Doctors visit for Social Security Disability:

3. Be A Broken Record—Social Security wants to see that your symptoms are continuing. Be sure to tell you doctor about your symptoms each time you go, even if you have told them over and over again in the past. Your journal can help you provide new examples of your limitations. Hopefully some of these limitations will make it into your records so that Social Security will be able to see them. It will also help your doctor to feel like they know your limitations—this way, when we send them forms asking them to describe your limitations, they will feel comfortable filling them out.

4. Visit Your Doctor Once A Month (Or As Often As You Can)—Social Security will often look at the frequency of your visits to your doctor as a gauge of the severity of your conditions. A patient who visits every month will be seen as having a more serious condition than the one who visits every 6 months, absent objective evidence.

5. Follow Your Treatment Plan—It is important that you comply with your doctor’s instructions and recommendations. Follow up on all of the recommended treatment when possible. If you don’t, make sure that you have a valid reason for not doing so and speak with our doctor BEFORE you quit or change any treatment.

6. See A Doctor and NOT A Physician’s Assistant (PA) Or A Nurse Practitioner (NP)—In today’s cost cutting environment, you may go to the “Doctor” and be seen by a PA or NP or some other similar medical care provider who is not an actual doctor. This can be a real problem because Social Security puts great weight on the opinions of actual Medical Doctors and will often provide very little weight to other opinions. If you are being treated by a non-doctor, do your best to find a doctor who will treat you as well and see that doctor as often as possible.

You must show your disability through your medical records. The above suggestions should help you to better do that, but you should have a consultation with a Social Security disability lawyers firm in Boise, Idaho to help you to better prepare the medical evidence you will need to demonstrate your disability. Good disability lawyers can help you prepare your case right the first time.

Originally posted 2013-07-02 00:56:07.

Disability Lawyers for Boise Idaho

6 To Make The Most Of Your Doctors Visits – Pt. 1

Boise Disability Lawyers Can HelpBOISE, ID – Our Social Security Disability Lawyers will tell you that the most important thing you can do to help yourself as you apply for Social Security Disability benefits is to go to your doctor. But you can’t simply just go and expect to get the results you need. Below are some helpful principles to follow when visiting your doctor, but you should talk with one of our disability lawyers for helpful hints regarding your particular disability, symptoms and limitations.

1. Don’t Talk To Your Doctor About Social Security Disability—You are at the doctors to get treatment. Don’t talk about Social Security Disability. If you want to talk about your disability, call our disability lawyers firm for Boise, Idaho. Doctors want to feel that you are in their office to get their help in feeling better and getting on with your life. They don’t want to feel like you are there to give them information for them to write down so that you can get onto disability. Also, when Social Security reviews your medical records and finds you talking to your doctor about applying for disability benefits, they begin to wonder if they can believe what you are telling your doctor.

2. Keep a Journal—Get a spiral notebook or a notepad and begin a journal. This is particularly important if you have headaches, irritable bowel syndrome or similar diseases that produce good and bad days. In between your doctor visits, make brief little notes regarding difficulties you have with your daily activities. The idea is to give the doctor a good understanding of your physical and mental limitations. You should provide specific examples that show your limitations with respect to your ability to lift, stand, sit, walk, reach, finger, handle etc. Here are some examples:

  • You get winded walking up the stairs in your home
  • You tried to lift a gallon of milk out of the refrigerator and experienced significant pain and needed help
  • You tried to watch a movie from a seated position, but you could only sit for a short time before you had to stand up
  • You tried to read a book and it took you 30 minutes to read 3-4 pages because you kept having to reread in order to understand or remember the content

Good disability lawyers can help you prepare your case right the first time. Our Disability Lawyers in Boise, Idaho can provide a no cost, no obligation consultation to help you understand your situation and the best route to take. Our disability lawyers firm services Boise, Idaho and surrounding areas.

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Originally posted 2013-05-21 07:19:52.

Social Security Disability Myths

Common Social Security Disability Myths

Social Security Attorneys for Boise, IDMyths about Social Security disability

When you apply for Social Security disability, you will find all sorts of myths circulating, especially on the internet. A Social Security attorney with our office can answer your questions and make the process easier by separating fact from fiction. Here are some common myths and misconceptions about Social Security disability.

Some people believe that everyone is denied Social Security disability benefits when they file an application, almost like Social Security has this rule so that you will be forced to appeal if you want disability. This is false. There is no such rule, although it’s easy to see where people could get the idea. On average, seventy percent of claims are denied on the first application. Keep this percentage in mind as you try to get disability benefits. It is not in your best interest to repeatedly file new applications instead of filing for an appeal. The goal is to get your case before a judge, because that is where you have the best chance of winning your case.   There are some exceptions to this where you would want to file a new claim and you should consult with one of our disability attorneys if you have been denied.

Another common and incorrect belief is that you can’t work once you start receiving Social Security benefits. In reality, you can work as long as you follow the rules. Social Security simply requires that you are unable to go over the substantial gainful activity limit. This limit changes, so be sure that your information is current. For more about substantial gainful activity and how you can still work after receiving Social Security benefits, please see the article entitled Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security disability or you can call to speak with one of our attorneys.   Working while you apply for disability is a different matter.  If you are working part-time while you apply, be sure to speak with a Social Security attorney.

Some people also think that a letter from your doctor saying that you are disabled can automatically get you on disability. This is not true. Most of the time, doctors letters don’t impact the decision very much, simply because they are too short and they don’t have enough details and provide only conclusory statements. However, a good statement from your doctor (called a medical source statement) or a well written letter can carry a lot of weight in a hearing. To make sure that you are doing everything you can to improve your chances, be sure to be very specific with your doctor about your limitations. This way the medical source statement your doctor writes is detailed, objective and very specific when it describes your physical or mental limitations. Keep in mind that it is best not to talk to your doctor about your disability application outside of asking for a letter or medical source statement.

Another misconception is that there are certain limitations that will automatically get you approved for Social Security disability. This is false, although it does have a grain of truth in it. Social Security does have medical listing, but just because you have a condition that is covered by these listings does not mean you will qualify for disability under this listing. If you symptoms match one of these conditions, you could get approved for disability benefits more easily. However, with Social Security nothing is ever guaranteed or automatic, and each case is considered on an individual basis. The Social Security Administration will always look at your medical records and see if you can still do past or relevant work, regardless of your impairment. Also keep in mind that you can still receive benefits even if your impairment is not in the medical listings.

Another myth is that you can’t get on Social Security disability if you have ever used drugs or alcohol.  Sometimes Social Security will use your use of alcohol as a reason to deny you benefits. However, that does not mean that you are automatically denied.  Social Security asks the question: if you were to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol, would your condition improve? If your medical condition is caused—or even made worse—by the drugs or alcohol, and stopping would allow you to work, then the Social Security administration will deny you benefits. However, if your condition was caused by alcohol but you have already stopped and your medical condition is not getting better, you could still receive benefits. For example, if you have a liver condition that was caused by alcohol, but the damage is permanent.. If the drugs or alcohol is unrelated to your disability, then in theory it should not have any effect on the determination, but significant abuse will always be an issue.

Some people also believe that you will receive a decision on your disability claim in ninety to a hundred and twenty days. This is untrue. Cases can be won in as little as thirty days or drag on for as long as two years. Generally, the more serious your condition is the faster you will be approved, but there is no way to predict how long a case will take.

If you have more questions about any of the Social Security disability myths listed above or about any step of the disability process, please contact a Social Security attorney with our office.


Originally posted 2015-02-18 18:40:42.