How To Prepare In Case Of A Continuing Disability Review
The possibility of a Continuing Disability Review is a fact of life for anyone with a disability income. The amount of time needed to prepare properly in case of a review is minor compared to the loss if you were reviewed and subjected to a battle to keep your income because of an insufficient record.
To prepare, it is advisable to take the following steps (additional information is in the other sections of this article):
- Keep the paperwork used to obtain disability income safe a safe place that you can easily access if necessary. If your case is reviewed, the original forms and documents will serve as the starting point for the review. You need the papers to be on the same page as the investigator.
- Keep track of your symptoms and how they affect your life and ability to work.
- Investigators will look to see what symptoms you have been experiencing, and how they impact your ability to return to work.
- Strong proof of what has been happening is what is known as a "contemporaneous record" - a record which is created at the time events happen. A diary is a good example of a contemporaneous record.
- Survivorship A to Z makes it easier to keep track with a Daily Activities Worksheet. If you are doing some work, Survivorship A to Z provides a Work Activities Worksheet.
- If you have done any work at all for which you received an income, be prepared to discuss it. If you are receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits, keep in mind that there is a 9 month trial work period during which you do not lose disability eligibility.
- See your doctor or other health care provider (doctor) on a regular basis.
- Seeing your doctor or other health care provider on a regular basis shows that your health is a continuing concern.
- Remind your doctor that you are on disability. Ask him or her to note in your medical chart the effects of your health condition and treatment on your daily life.
- When you report feeling better to your doctor, also remind him or her about the continuing effects of your health condition. Words by themselves like "the patient reports feeling better" could be misinterpreted to mean that your health condition is no longer disabling.
- If you have more than one doctor, ask all your doctors to report to one doctor so all your medical records are in one place. (This isn't necessary if your doctors are in a medical system with shared medical records.)
- Check your medical record at least once every six months to be sure that it contains all your doctor visits and treatments and that it contains notes about the effects of your symptoms on your activities. If the doctor balks at showing you your record, you can remind him or her that you have a right to your records under federal law. For information about your medical record rights, click here.