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Helping Vascular Disease Patients Apply for Disability Benefits

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Helping Vascular Disease Patients Apply for Disability Benefits

09/11/2013

Guest blog post by Ram Meyyappan, Social Security Disability Help

To qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits with a vascular disease that affects the arteries, veins, or lymph vessels, a person needs to prove the condition is severely disabling and profoundly impacts his or her everyday abilities, mainly the ability to work. The disability claimant additionally need to show the Social Security Administration (SSA) that the effects of the condition are ongoing and that even with appropriate treatment he or she will still be disabled for a period of at least 12 months.

As a treating physician, you play a vital role in helping your patient obtain the disability benefits they need. Listed below are some tips on how you can help your patient.

1. Ensure the correct tests and treatments have been undertaken to establish the diagnosis, prove the severity level of the condition, and document that the disease and its effects are ongoing despite medical intervention.

2. Complete detailed reports that summarize the crucial details the SSA needs to know, including all of those listed in item one above. These reports include:

  • A thorough clinical history report – documenting the history of the illness and its progression over time.
  • A functional capacity report – substantiating the everyday limitations the patient experiences as a result of a vascular disease, including the effects the illness has on the individual’s ability to perform normal job functions.
  • A longitudinal report – which details the prognosis of the vascular disease, including the short and long-term effects of the condition and how any prescribed treatments and future therapies are likely to impact everyday abilities, including the ability to work.

3. Consistently report the details of the patient’s vascular disease and your expert medical opinion, including all references to these details in

  • Examination notes from office visits.
  • Treatment reports completed following all therapies, surgeries, and even after the introduction of new medications or other supportive care programs.
  • Formal reports submitted to the SSA upon the patient’s request.

If the claimant needs to go to a disability hearing, be ready to testify on his or her behalf.

4. Present expert testimony at the appeal hearing which accurately represents

  • The patient’s clinical history.
  • His or her diagnosis and how it was achieved.
  • Medical intervention methods undertaken and their effects.
  • The current impact of the illness on the patient’s daily functioning.
  • The effect of required treatments on the patient’s functional capacity.
  • The prognosis for the condition, including the likely duration and progression of the disease.

As a treating physician, you play an essential role in your patient being approved for disability benefits. Your expert opinion along with supporting medical documentation is essential for a claimant to prove that he or she is unable to work due to a vascular disease.

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