Use a Daily Diary to Help Win Your Social Security Disability Case
One of the issues that plagues many people wishing to win their case to obtain Social Security benefits is that they often do not have enough medical evidence to back up their claims. One of the reasons is that many have been out of work nearly two years by the time their hearing date approaches and they have not had the funds to pay for individualized medical care from a private phsyician. Many have been relegated to only being able to go through a county emergency room when their conditions get out of control.
Thus, it is very hard for an attorney to single out one doctor who will be able to help back up his client's case with additional medical evidence. Simply, the doctor will not have known the patient (or even remember him or her) enough to really offer any help.
Sometimes, to remedy this problem, the Claimant should start keeping a daily diary of how their conditions affect their daily activities.
You see, if you cannot meet the medical listing for your disability, then you are going to have to show how your disability affects your ability to work. This is often shown in how long you can walk or stand or even carry heavy objects or how your fingers would be able to manipulate small things such as a pen or a keyboard on a computer.
Again, one of the ways you can do this is through a daily diary. However, it is very important to show HOW your condition affects your daily activities. Just simply writing that you were tired and stayed in bed all day is not going to really do the job. What you need to write is whether it was difficult for you to get out of bed, and what part of your body hurt, and that you were not able to make breakfast that morning because your back hurt so much you had to sit down after only ten minutes. Or, you tried to pick up a bag of pet food that weighs twenty pounds, but your hands and your back would not allow you to do so. -These are the kinds of things you need to be documenting each day. They are just examples, but this is what is called your "residual functional capacity" to work. This is what Social Security is looking at when deciding your case.
The same can be said about mental issues. Here, Social Security is evaluating your "mental residual capacity" to work. Therefore, you need to be documenting how your mental condition or conditions stop you from going outside, driving a care, taking care of a pet or loved one, dealing with any amount of stress, handling money, etc. So, your daily diary needs to be telling a story from the time in which you woke up until the time in which you went to bed. Also, many people have a terrible time sleeping when their disability is affecting them not only physically and mentally, but financially as well. If this is so, then you need to be documenting times in which you are unable to sleep (which causes you not to be able to get up in the morning and go to work).
I hope this helps. If anything, it will only make your case stronger even with very good medical evidence to back up your claim.