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Acting As Your Own Advocate When You Have Long Term Disabilities


Living with any type of illness or chronic health condition creates challenges in all areas of your life. In addition to the impacts on your physical and emotional health, you likely have concerns about providing for yourself and your family and managing work or other daily activities. The situation becomes even more serious once you are diagnosed with a long term disability. There are numerous resources available for people in this situation, but uncovering and gaining access to them often proves difficult. Find out the steps you can take to act as your own advocate.

Acting As Your Own Patient Advocate In Getting A Firm Diagnosis Of Your Condition

To obtain long term disability benefits through your employer or the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must have a qualifying condition that will prevent you from working for a year or longer. A variety of physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments are covered. One of the first steps is getting a firm diagnosis. This often involves acting as your own patient advocate and taking the following steps:

  • Report all symptoms promptly to your doctor and make sure they are included in your chart;
  • Attend all follow-up visits and follow your doctor’s instructions regarding testing and treatment;
  • Make it a point to get the results of any procedures you undergo;
  • Keep records regarding all medical providers you visit and any medication you are taking;
  • Ask your doctor to document when you officially become disabled and your prognosis for recovery.

All of this is important information which will need to be submitted to your long term disability insurer or the SSA. If your doctor refuses to declare you disabled or otherwise support your efforts, seek a second opinion.

Acting As Your Own Advocate When Filing A Long Term Disability Claim 

Living with discomfort, decreased mobility, and other unpleasant effects of long term disabilities can be challenging enough. Unfortunately, over half of all long disability claims are denied each year. To protect your rights, act as your own advocate and take the following steps:

  • Educate yourself: Government provides a wealth of information about benefits available for people with long term disabilities.
  • Identify community resources: Check with the Florida Department of Health to find out what local services are available.
  • Focus on what you can do: Do not get discouraged about your limitations. Stay empowered by focusing on what you can do, rather than what you can’t.
  • Enlist the help of others: In addition to friends, family, caseworkers, and administrators with various agencies, reach out to our long term disability attorney for help.

Contact Us Today for Help 

At Farrell Disability Law, you can count on us to act as a strong legal advocate on your behalf, helping you get the disability benefits you are entitled to. To discuss the options in your case with our Jacksonville long term disability attorney, call or contact us online and request a consultation in our office today.

Farrell Disability Law is located in Jacksonville, FL and serves clients throughout Florida, including Jacksonville Beach, Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, Orange Park, Doctors Inlet, Neptune Beach, Callahan, Bryceville, Middleburg, Fernandina Beach, Clay County, Duval County and Nassau County.


2319 Oak Street
Jacksonville, Florida
Phone: 904-388-8870 Primary: 904-388-8870 Fax: 904-339-9590


37 North Orange Avenue, Suite 548
Orlando, Florida 32801
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