Saturday, July 17, 2010

WHO should collect an Applicant's chart notes for a Disability Insurance (like SSDI and/or SSI claim?

If you ask the SSA (Social Security Administration) you will probably be told that they can get the medical info for you, as soon as you sign the release form(s).

HOWEVER, the DisabilityKey process HIGHLY recommends that YOU - the APPLICANT - gather up all the chart notes and read them, underlining the parts that refer to your symptom impairments, and WHERE THERE MIGHT BE DISCREPANCIES between what you say in your documentation and the drs' chart notes, you can resolve any differences BEFORE the notes go into SSA.

Here are 3 situations where the applicant did NOT do the chart note gathering, reading and resolving FIRST. They were DISQUALIFIED because of issues that they could have resolved ahead of time if they had only obtained the chart notes ahead of time; read and resolved any discrepancies BEFORE submitting them to the SSA.

1) The dr's admin compiled the files to send to SSA upon request of the SSA Case Worker's request; the office had 2 people with the same last name; the admin sent in the case files for the WRONG PERSON!!

2) The applicant reported she could not drive due to symptom impairments; had lost her license. The dr's latest chart notes sent in at the request of the SSA's Case Worker - without review by the applicant - showed that the applicant could still drive; the applicant was denied benefits because the SSA said they couldn't "trust" her documentation. When the applicant later talked to the dr, the dr apologized; corrected the chart notes to reflect that she HAD INDEED lost her license 3 yrs ago! The dr had written the latest chart notes WITHOUT referring to the applicant's past history!

3) The SSA Case Worker did not want to contact the applicant's multiple drs for chart notes, so denied the applicant disability benefits, saying that there was "insufficient evidence of ADL (Activities of Daily Living) symptom impairment; therefore the applicant could perform SGA (Substantially Gainful Employment". AND REMEMBER - it is YOUR responsibility to PROVE your impairment.

The SSA states the following (get my new FREE ebooklet to learn more):

Under both the Title II (SSDI) and Title XVI (SSI) programs, medical evidence is the cornerstone for the determination of disability. Each person who files a disability claim is responsible for providing medical evidence showing he or she has an impairment(s) and the severity of the impairment(s).

AND, this:

(a) General. In general, you have to prove to us that you are blind or disabled. Therefore, you must bring to our attention everything that shows that you are blind or disabled. This means that you must furnish medical and other evidence that we can use to reach conclusions about your medical impairment(s) and, if material to the determination of whether you are blind or disabled, its effect on your ability to work on a sustained basis. We will consider only impairment(s) you say you have or about which we receive evidence.