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SSDI benefits - How do I get my doctor to listen to me?

One of the most difficult issues Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applicants is finding a good doctor, but getting great medical care and evidence that you are disabled will be critical to winning SSDI from the SSA. With this in mind, you will need to find a doctor who listens to you, who is willing to provide good information for your medical files, and who believes you are disabled and need help. But what if you cannot find a good doctor or what if you have a doctor but they do not take you seriously or they do not listen to you? This SSA disability blog will address several steps you can take to improve your relationship with your doctor.

Steps to get your doctor to listen to you and win SSDI

1.     Be specific and keep it short

Doctors are busy and they are often over scheduled. Be realistic about the amount of time you will have with your doctor and have specific symptoms and conditions that you want to discuss. Be prepared to identify the symptoms and how often they occur. Although a 10 page report is not helpful, it may be beneficial to bring a list of specific questions you have to discuss with your doctor.

2.    Speak up

You are an expert about your body. The doctor may have hundreds of patients, but you understand your body and what is normal. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and if you feel that you are not getting the treatment you need, politely bring this to the doctor’s attention.

3.    Take a friend with you

If you know you have trouble being assertive take a friend or family member with you who can speak up during the visit and be more assertive.  Friends can also take notes and keep information organized for you while you focus on asking your questions. They can also be a strong advocate for your healthcare, especially if you are seriously ill and do not have the ability to fight for yourself.

4.    Tell your doctor about your family’s medical history

Make sure your doctor understands what conditions run in your family. This can be especially important for an autoimmune disorder or a heart condition. This step can literally save your life and allow the doctor to catch serious conditions before it’s too late.

5.    Follow up on test results

Never assume that because you did not hear from your doctor it must be good news. Doctors make mistakes and your test results could have been lost, misread or not filed properly.

6.    Ask for what you want

If you understand your condition and the goal of treatment it is easier to ask for what you need. If you believe a specific test might tell you vital information about your condition, ask for it. If your doctor says no than it may be a good idea to get a second opinion.

7.    Find a new doctor

Not all doctors are good at what they do or you may have simply found a doctor who is great but lacks good bedside manners or who has too many patients. If you are unhappy with your current doctor or they seem over scheduled and too busy to listen, find another doctor. Getting a doctor who is willing to provide good medical information for your SSDI case may be critical to your success at winning SSA disability benefits.