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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

Why is it important to keep a diary of my disability?

  • Published: June 13, 2012

Your ability to give detailed testimony at your Florida Social Security disability hearing will be a significant factor in the success of your claim. As an experienced Ocala Social Security disability lawyer, I suggest that you keep at least one diary of your symptoms to assist you in obtaining disability benefits in Florida as the quality and accuracy of your testimony will dramatically increase with the use of a simple diary.

Your Memory Will Fade

You may think you don’t need to keep a diary because it will be easy for you to recall the limitations on your routine daily activities.  However, it may be more difficult for you to recall detailed facts about more than one symptom and the effects each of your symptoms has had on you over a period of weeks or months.

While a generic calendar that we all have hanging somewhere in our house is better as a recording device than bare memory, diaries that are designed to specifically record relevant disability-related events are even more effective. If you are able to write down events concerning your disability as they occur, you will be creating a record that will be difficult for the Social Security Administration to contest later on.

Backlog May Cause a Long Wait Before Your Hearing

The back log of Social Security disability claims in Ocala, as in most parts of the country, results in a long wait between your initial application for benefits and the date of your hearing.  Maintaining one or more diaries will help you use the time before your hearing in a meaningful way and allow you to participate in the development of your case. Additionally, if you are able to forward your diaries to your Ocala disability attorney periodically, he or she can see if the diary is adequate or if there are additional impairments or symptoms that you may need to document.

Lastly, the diaries serve a significant role when gathering information from your treating doctor. Your Ocala disability attorney can attach copies of your diaries to a request for a treating source statement from your doctor, giving your doctor the opportunity to incorporate the signs and symptoms of your conditions into relevant medical opinions.

How many and what type of diaries should I keep?

In my experience as an Ocala disability attorney, I have found that one diary is often insufficient. For example, a lower back pain diary may be even more effective when presented with a fatigue diary. How many and what type of diaries you may need depends on the facts of your case. Your Ocala disability lawyer can help you decide which diaries will be most useful, whether it is a general symptom diary in which you record all your symptoms or a separate diary devoted entirely to one symptom.

Regardless of how sharp your memory is, your testimony will be more accurate, precise and, ultimately, more compelling, if you have a written record, such as a diary, upon which to rely.

If you are thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits or if you need help appealing a denial, contact experienced Ocala disability lawyer Claudeth J. Henry to review the facts of your case, help you get started on a diary, and discuss your claim for benefits.  Call us at (352) 304-5300.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to help you
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