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Consistent Treatment is Key

It's often hard to stress just how important medical evidence is to an individual's Social Security Disability claim. The truth is, anyone can allege a disability; that's the easy part. The hard part is proving the alleged disability not only exists, but prevents an individual from working.

Prior to one of our client's hearings, our advocate made a simple suggestion: consistent psychiatric treatment. Our client alleged multiple disabling impairments, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although he was receiving care from his physicians for his other alleged impairments, he was not in consistent psychiatric treatment for his PTSD. It wasn't surprising when, after his first hearing, his claim was denied, and the Administrative Law Judge found his PTSD to be a non-severe impairment (meaning it didn't impose enough restrictions upon him to prevent him from working).

In order to prove our client's PTSD was severe enough to prevent him from working, we needed medical evidence that documented its severity. Although he was already in treatment with other doctors, he wasn't in consistent treatment with a mental health provider. There's no doubt that the recommendation our advocate gave was essentially to our client winning his benefits. After enrolling in consistent psychiatric treatment, we were able to obtain his treatment records and provide evidence for the severity of his PTSD. By the time our client appeared for his third hearing, his medical evidence was overwhelming supportive of all of his alleged disabilities, not just his physical impairments.

When we recommend that you seek additional treatment, whether it be with a specialist or perhaps even an Independent Medical Examination, it is not because your current doctor's report are not good, or that your doctor isn't a good physician. It is because we want to win your case. Therefore we want the evidence to be overwhelmingly strong-not just for part of your claim, but for all of it.

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