February 22, 2020

Do I Need to See a Medical Specialist?

If you are alleging disability based on a serious brain injury, the Social Security disability judge will expect to see records from a neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, neuro-psychologist, neurosurgeon or other specialists in your medical record.  Depending on your injuries, the judge will also expect to see treatment records from an occupational therapist, speech therapist, physical therapist or other rehabilitation vendors.

If you come to court primarily with records from your family doctor, the judge will most likely conclude that your injury was not especially severe and not worthy of a finding of “disabled.”

Traumatic brain injuries can be disabling because they can impact so many elements of your life and because impairments can be long lasting, difficult to treat and not immediately apparent.

A family doctor can be very helpful by coordinating treatment and recommending specialists, but internists are not trained to treat serious brain injuries.

If you do not have good insurance, or if you do not have the funds to pay for a comprehensive treatment plan, you may have no choice but to rely on Social Security consultative evaluations or on periodic visits with a specialist like a neurologist.  If your medical record does not contain treatment records, but it does contain statements from authoritative sources that you desperately need intensive treatment or therapy, and your record contains non-medical evidence in the form of affidavits from friends, family members and others attesting to your odd behavior or emotional stability, you may be able to convince a judge that your condition is very serious but that your record is not well developed because of financial reasons.

If you have a significant closed head injury and would like to discuss a claim strategy to pursue SSDI benefits, please use the form on this page to contact our office.