When a medical expert (“ME”) testifies at a Social Security hearing, the testimony is usually adverse to finding the claimant disabled. Apparently, one way to increase the likelihood that an ME will testify favorably is to provide a copy of all the hospitalization records. Within the last month, I had two different MEs say the evidence supported finding the claimants disabled based upon the voluminous hospitalization records.
The cases were completely different. One involved Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits for an adult with various musculoskeletal problems, while the other concerned Child’s Insurance Benefits (“CIB”) for a claimant with interstitial cystitis. There were thousands of pages of hospital records, and just today, about another thousand were received in the CIB case after the fully favorable decision was received. The ME in the adult case admitted that he did not read all the records.
There are listings that apply where a claimant has been hospitalized a certain number of times during a fixed period of time, but neither of the MEs testified as much. I suspect that the MEs equate hospitalizations with the severity of a medical impairment. Obtaining hospital records are usually more difficult to obtain in a timely manner compared to treating doctors’ records. However, even if most of the documentation may not contain much information pertinent to the claimant’s disability application, the need for the hospitalization seems to impress an ME much more than progress notes.
Both of these cases happened to be on Long Island, but in general, my office staff is very familiar with requesting medical records from the hospitals in the Metropolitan area including Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.
If you find yourself in the position of needing to apply for SSD benefits, please call my office for a free phone consultation. My staff and I will be able to assist you with any questions you might have. Having a SSD attorney with years of experience and expertise handling your claim will make the process of applying for SSD much less stressful and overwhelming.Previous Next
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