Disability Lawyers in NC on Estimating the Length, Frequency and Intensity of Pain and Symptoms
To schedule a consultation with the disability lawyers in NC at the Bridgman Law Offices, call 888-632-9912. We can help navigate your case.
When you are applying for disability benefits, your disability lawyers in NC will want you to keep a journal in which you document the length, frequency and intensity of your symptoms and pain. This can help your doctor to better treat you as well as help you in preparing for your disability hearing. If your administrative law judge doesn’t understand how often or how severe your symptoms are, they may not believe you are disabled. When you have symptoms that come and go, being able to describe to the judge how often they occur during a week, how intense they are and how long they last may help you to reach a favorable outcome in your case.
Document How Long Your Symptoms Last Each Time
Each time your symptoms occur, write down in your journal the date and time they start. Time them and when they subside, document the ending time. This will provide you with a pattern that tells the frequency of their occurrence as well as how long they last. Your judge may then understand how the length of your episodes may interfere with your ability to do work activities.
How to Estimate the Intensity of Your Pain or Symptoms
Equally important is for you to estimate the intensity of your pain or other symptoms. When you do so, you should always be honest and not exaggerate. A good idea is to use a scale like the ones that your doctor uses. These scales generally range from one to 10, with one meaning no pain and 10 being the most severe. Pain at a level 10 rating would mean that it was so severe you literally couldn’t get up and were writhing. If you testify that your pain is always at a level 10, the judge is not likely to believe you. Very few people experience frequent pain at that intensity. Instead, make sure to think about exactly how strong your pain and symptoms are and rate them accordingly. Otherwise, the judge may believe you are not being honest about your disabling condition and deny your claim. You should expect to be questioned about your symptoms, including how often they occur, how long they last and how intense they are. By carefully documenting the information in your journal, you will be better prepared to answer the judge’s questions so that they may better be able to understand why you are unable to work. Your disability lawyers in NC will be able to use the information in your journal to prepare for your hearing as well, and your doctor will also have more information in order to fully treat you.