Midwest Disability, P.A. Midwest Disability, P.A. Midwest Disability, P.A.

Keeping a Journal

People apply for social security disability benefits for many reasons. Some medical conditions can be proven with imaging like an x-ray or an MRI. And others like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus can be proven with a blood test. However, some impairments, like seizures or fibromyalgia don't have an image or a blood test that can be performed. Fibromyalgia is often diagnosed by ruling other diseases out. And seizures can be witnessed but there is not a test that shows the frequency of a seizure. That is why it is helpful to keep a journal if you suffer from fibromyalgia or seizures.

The journal does not need to be an extensive list of what you do every day. If you have seizures, it is important to keep a record of the date of the seizure, how long the seizure lasted, if you received medical treatment during or after the seizure and how you felt after the seizure. If someone else witnessed the seizure, it is helpful for that person to write in the journal what they witnessed happening. This is important because by the time you have a hearing you might have forgotten how many seizures you have had or how often you have them.

With fibromyalgia, the journal can be a little bit more detailed. Because each person's experience with fibromyalgia is different, it is helpful to keep a record of your own symptoms. Write down the date and then write down where you have pain, what makes the pain worse and what makes it better. The journal entries don't need to be long. They can be bullet points. But it is helpful to have a record of what your pain is every day and how it limits your activities. These journals can be submitted to social security before a hearing and will help the judge have a better understand of what you experience on a day to day. 

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Midwest Disability, P.A.
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Coon Rapids, MN 55448
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