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As experienced Charlotte Social Security disability lawyers, we suggest that anyone hoping to obtain North Carolina disability benefits keep at least one symptom diary.
What is a symptom diary?
A symptom diary is any written record of your most troubling symptom or symptoms. It can take many forms – a wall calendar, a notebook, a journal, a chart, a spreadsheet. The form that will work best for you is the one that will allow you to easily and regularly record the nature (intensity, frequency, duration, etc.) of specific, disability-related symptoms as they occur.
Consider, for example, a pain diary. Many North Carolina Social Security claimants have medical conditions that result in ongoing pain. A pain diary can be used to record the specific attributes of that pain on a day-to-day basis: where was the pain localized; how intense was the pain on a 1-10 scale; what triggered the pain; how long did it last; what alleviated the pain?
Other examples of symptom diaries include a headache diary, a fatigue diary, a sleep diary, a hypoglycemic event diary, and an asthma/nebulizer diary.
Why is a symptom diary important?
Two realities of the North Carolina disability benefits process make it important for you to keep a symptom diary. First, the success of your claim may hinge on your ability to give detailed testimony at your hearing before the administrative law judge. Second, as a practical matter, there is often a long gap between the denial of your request for reconsideration and your hearing date. Even if you pride yourself on your good memory, the quality and accuracy of your testimony will suffer without a written record, like a diary.
Your Charlotte Social Security disability lawyer can help you decide what type of symptom diary will be most effective in your case. If you are not currently represented by a Charlotte Social Security disability lawyer, and you would like our input, please contact us by phone or email.