It’s one of the eternal ironies of life that we do not appreciate the gift of good health until we’ve lost it, and by then, it’s too late to do anything about it. A permanent physical ability is not something we plan for, but when it happens, it changes your life forever. You’re not able to work for a living or even take care of yourself, and this is why you’re forced to apply for Social Security disability benefits (SSDI). You may have heard horror stories about how difficult it is for people who really deserve it to qualify for benefits, but if your disability is genuine and if you go about the process in a planned and organized manner, it’s not impossible.
The first step is to ensure that your medical history is well documented – you need to have copies and records of all your treatments, all the medication you’ve been taking, a list of all the visits to the doctor and the emergency room, dates of sessions with your therapist, counselor or chiropractor, and proof all the diagnostic tests that have been performed on you. You also need to get written assessments of your condition from the doctors and other healthcare professionals who have treated you at any time. The assessments and diagnoses must be in writing if you are going to submit them as part of your application.
However, there are some disabilities that are not openly visible and that cannot be proved by blood tests or any other diagnostic tool – fibromyalgia is one such condition. In such cases, your physical therapist becomes an important part of the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits. They specialize in dealing with people who have similar conditions so their written assessments are valuable to the process.
Also, there are rules for SSDI approvals – you have to have a condition or impairment that is listed with them and be able to prove it if you want to be approved automatically. But if your condition does not appear in this list, you may need to prove that you have other lesser conditions that cumulatively add up and prevent you from working at a regular job and earning a steady income.
So when it comes to conditions where the medical diagnosis is inconclusive and where your pain and other symptoms dictate the quality of your life, your physical therapist may be your best bet to get your SSDI approved. All you need to do is find someone who is qualified, licensed, and who knows the seriousness and debilitating nature of your condition.