As you prepare for your Social Security disability claim, an important tool you’ll want to keep in your toolkit is maintaining a detailed journal of your medical condition. While this may seem unusual at first, it can end up being helpful in winning your case for disability benefits. Most disability attorneys recommend that applicants take dated notes describing the daily impact of their disabling condition to help support their SSDI claim. Keep reading to learn why keeping a medical evidence journal is important and what exactly you should be documenting.
Importance of Long-Term Medical Documentation for Your Social Security Disability Claim
It can’t be stressed enough: when applying for Social Security disability or going through the Social Security claims process, it’s essential to provide sufficient medical documentation of the impact of your disability on your daily life. This helps support your case and can help the Social Security Administration (SSA) determine whether you’re eligible for benefits.
Your documentation should be consistent, detailed, and explain exactly what your day-to-day looks like as a person with a disabling medical condition. Regularly keeping a medical evidence journal can help your attorney in appealing your disability application.
What You Should Document for Your Claim
Pain can be hard to describe since it’s subjective and can’t truly be felt by others, so the best you can do is to try and detail it as effectively as possible to portray exactly how you are feeling due to your condition. The more elaborate and descriptive, the better those working your disability application – from caseworkers and physicians to judges – will understand what you are facing daily.
Your medical evidence journal should include:
- Specific dates and times
- Detailed entries explaining how your condition impacts you throughout your day
- Examples of tasks you can no longer complete due to your disabling condition
- Severity and duration of symptoms
- Symptom triggers
- Which parts of your body are affected by pain, including detailed descriptions of the type of pain you experience (such as burning, sharp, dull, and so forth)
- Any medications you are taking and whether or not they help
- Side effects related to your medications and how they affect your daily activities
Your journal doesn’t need to be formal in any way – as long as it’s descriptive and thorough, you can keep it simple. Be thoughtful and straightforward about how you’re feeling each day to provide a clear picture of why you need disability benefits.
Contact the Disability Lawyers at Woodruff & Mathis
At Woodruff & Mathis, our disability attorneys have been working on Social Security disability cases for more than 20 years. Hiring an experienced lawyer for your Social Security can make all the difference when it comes to being approved for disability benefits. If you need legal representation for your SSDI claim, please request an appointment with the team at Woodruff & Mathis today.