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How To Be Your Own Advocate When Dealing With Long Term Disabilities


Your doctor plays an important role not only in providing medical care but in helping you obtain Social Security disability benefits when conditions you suffer from prevent you from working. Being your own patient advocate protects your health and helps to ensure you get the disability benefits you deserve.

The Role Your Doctor Plays In Obtaining Disability Benefits

You trust your family doctor to help manage your health. Unfortunately, medical mistakes on their part could put you in jeopardy. Patient Safety Awareness Week calls attention to a common and disturbing problem: more than 400,000 patients die each year as a result of medical errors. Among the most common include misdiagnosis of symptoms, misinterpretation of diagnostic tests, medication errors, and procedural mistakes during surgeries. These can allow serious conditions to go untreated or cause adverse events that put you at risk.

In addition to impacting your health, medical mistakes can also impact your rights to Social Security disability benefits. Your doctor plays an important role in the application process and in helping your claim get approved. Among the tasks required of them include:

  • Providing a firm diagnosis and verifying your disabled status;
  • Providing test results and other records to support their claims;
  • Making statements to the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding how your condition is likely to impact your ability to work and other activities;
  • Recording how you are responding to any treatments provided;
  • Giving an estimate on your overall prognosis;
  • Making a determination on when you will be able to return to substantial gainful activity.

How To Be Your Own Patient Safety Advocate

Your doctor can serve as a strong ally on your side when completing your Social Security disability application or their actions could hinder you in getting the benefits you deserve. To protect yourself and your rights, it is important to act as your own patient safety advocate. Steps to take include:

  • Making sure your medical history is properly filled out;
  • Making a list of symptoms you experience to discuss at each visit;
  • Confirming with your doctor all medications you are taking and any specialists you have been referred to;
  • Requesting the appropriate medical testing and obtaining a copy of the results;
  • Making sure your doctor documents the impact your disability has on your life;
  • Making sure they respond to requests for information from the SSA;
  • Requesting a referral for a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment if your doctor refuses to support your efforts in obtaining disability benefits.

Let Us Help You Today

At Farrell Disability Law, we act as a strong legal advocate on your side when dealing with doctors and applying for disability benefits. Our goal is to ensure you get the maximum amount you deserve. To request a consultation in our office, call or contact our Jacksonville Social Security disability attorney online 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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