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One option to consider is to have a different doctor for disability purposes than your treatment doctor. Your treatment doctor may not keep good notes. His lab reports from Great Smokies may be unconvincing to other physicians. He may be expensive and be at a considerable distance from home.

For disability purposes, consider going to a neurologist. Here are some reasons:

1. Your insurance is very likely to pay for his services.

2. You should be able to find one or several close to home.

3. His orientation is within the scope of mainstream medicine.

4. He is used to seeing disabled people, and more likely to accept that a person is disabled.

5. Neurologists tend to write good, lengthy, detailed, persuasive, typewritten reports, unlike internists.

6. He is likely to do a good mental status examination and provide a referral for neuropsychological testing, which will provide an objective basis for your disability.

7. Your illness is likely to have a significant neurological component.

You can get a referral to a neurologist from a local doctor, a nearby hospital, or the yellow pages. Don’t expect him to provide any useful treatment. If he does, it will be a bonus. Keep in mind that your purpose in seeing him is to provide good documentation of your disability.

Prepare for the examination in advance. Define in writing why you are disabled, in plain, simple English. This is critical. Describe your problem in BEHAVIORAL terms. For example: “I have to lie down to brush my teeth because when I stand too long I get dizzy. I have difficulty following conversations and I have to have people repeat what they are saying several times. When I drive too far from home I get lost and it often takes me several hours to find my way home.”

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