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Medical History

Most ALJs will have read your medical records and taken notes on them before the hearing. Thus, detailed testimony about your medical history is not necessary in most cases. But since the SSA requires that disability last for 12 months, it is the plateaus, not the valleys or peaks, that are most crucial in your Social Security disability case. Your medical history can supplement your testimony about those plateaus.

The nature of your case determines the degree to which the judge or your attorney will question you about your medical history. Cases in which testimony about medical history may be necessary include those involving known treatments for pain, obscure impairments, uncommon treatments or unclear medical records.

If medical history is required, you may be asked questions such as:

Q: You injured your knee at work on March 15th, 20__, didn’t you?

Q: Did you ever return to work after that accident?

Q: Your condition worsened and you had numerous medical tests before you had surgery for a ruptured disc on May 15, 20__, didn’t you?

Q: You recovered from surgery during summer 20__, didn’t you?

Q: Would you agree that as of September 15, 20__, which is the day your doctor told the worker’s compensation insurance carrier that your condition had plateaued, your symptoms at that time were nearly the same as they are now?

Current Treatment

While testimony about past medical treatment is generally kept to a minimum, you may be asked plenty of questions about current, on-going treatment. For example, you may be asked the following questions about current treatments:

  • Healthcare personnel treating you now.
  • Your healthcare providers’ specialties.
  • How long you have been seeing these providers.
  • How frequently you receive treatment.
  • What the treatment entails exactly.
  • Whether these treatments have helped you.
  • Which medication(s) do you now take and at what dosages? Are there any side-effects?
  • What is the effect of the medication on your symptoms?
  • If you’re not on any regular treatment/medication, why aren’t you?

Contact New York Social Security disability attorney Wendy Brill for a consultation.