Social Security Disability Facts Forum

The Psychological side of Disability => The Comfort Zone => Topic started by: Mjwhite1 on June 18, 2020, 09:13:09 am

Title: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Mjwhite1 on June 18, 2020, 09:13:09 am
I am done with my therapist. My claim was most recently denied because she didn't keep treatment notes and they rejected her statement. Aside from that though, We've been going around for years and I just want someone new. Being that we are in the middle of coronavirus, no one is seeing anyone here, so my question is, has anyone done online therapy? Does anyone know if it will it be an acceptable medical source? Im so confused about the whole thing. My mental health is declining and I need help, but I really don't know which way to get it right now and I see the importance of finding someone whose records will matter to SSA...obviously getting help is number 1, but having records to back up what we do is of great importance to me as well.

  :Sad06:
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Lockdown2020 on June 18, 2020, 09:25:40 am
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Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Mjwhite1 on June 18, 2020, 09:38:33 am
cool, thanks :)

 Im gonna hit google and see who I can find taking new patients and offering telehealth.
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Lockdown2020 on June 18, 2020, 10:02:10 am
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Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Katiesdad2019 on June 18, 2020, 10:39:32 am
My  psych nurse practitioner and therapist are all video. Thru doxy.me
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: SFVLance on June 18, 2020, 11:01:13 am
The SSA won't be able to see any video.

Providers still create written notes based on the telemedicine appointments.
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Mjwhite1 on June 18, 2020, 01:34:49 pm
Hearing so many people doing this gives me hope, thanks everybody
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Just Me on June 18, 2020, 01:56:57 pm
Ask your attorney if he knows of anyone. Attorneys read the notes from various doctors. They often have a good idea of which ones take good notes. Most, if not all states are opening up. Telemedicine may or may not be easy to find.
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Tahoequeen21 on June 18, 2020, 09:19:32 pm
I see my therapist via "tele visit" every 3-4 weeks. The clinic is funded by the county, state, and United Way. My therapist wrote a letter which I submitted to my lawyer, and was approved with her help. There is good therapy out there. Good luck!
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: needssi on June 19, 2020, 10:14:19 am
My current therapist moved out of state a couple of months ago.  I had begun looking for a new one from a very limited list due to my insurance.  The one I thought would be best was not taking any new patients.  Then COVID hit.  While I wouldn't mind doing teleconferences with an established provider, I wasn't willing to try "new" providers using this method.  I do see my psych PA via teleconference.  So I will have to find one once things open up a bit more.
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Lockdown2020 on June 19, 2020, 10:45:54 am
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Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Worry103 on June 19, 2020, 06:43:05 pm
Hello I have been doing phone appointments with my psychologist since the beginning of covid-19 lathe March I think most psychiatrist and psychologist and most medical doctors are doing that now for their safety and yours. I mean heck even SSA is doing phone appointments  and video conferencing.Hope this helps
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: newdawn on June 19, 2020, 09:08:06 pm
I am done with my therapist. My claim was most recently denied because she didn't keep treatment notes and they rejected her statement. Aside from that though, We've been going around for years and I just want someone new. Being that we are in the middle of coronavirus, no one is seeing anyone here, so my question is, has anyone done online therapy? Does anyone know if it will it be an acceptable medical source? Im so confused about the whole thing. My mental health is declining and I need help, but I really don't know which way to get it right now and I see the importance of finding someone whose records will matter to SSA...obviously getting help is number 1, but having records to back up what we do is of great importance to me as well.

  :Sad06:

I don't mean to offend you, but I personally always thought it was unacceptable that your therapist would not submit notes to SSA for your claim. A statement is great, but it's like the cherry on top of a sundae. Without the ice cream and fudge, you just have a cherry, not a sundae.

My psychiatrist is still only doing video or telephone appointments. My psychologist is one of only two therapists in her practice doing in-person appointments as an option. The others are only doing phone and video. She also does video and phone due to covid-19, but except for one week, I've always opted for in-person.

Her practice (well, it's not really "her" practice, it's a big practice and she just is one of many therapists that operate out of the office), but anyways, her practice is actively seeking new patients even during the time of covid believe-it-or-not. I'm on their mailing list and I got an advertisement from them about the pandemic creating challenges especially for mental health conditions, etc. and how they have HIPAA-compliant teletherapy that can help for individual, couples, and family therapy, etc. etc.

What I would stay away from are those online therapy sites like talkspace and betterhelp. JMO.

I found my current therapist partly by checking who my employer-based insurance covered (the insurance website had a search feature that showed therapists who accepted my insurance near where I live) and then I cross referenced those people against their profiles on psychologytoday (or if they had their own website) to see if they sounded like a good fit (you wouldn't believe some of the "far out" there profiles on psychologytoday I read that allowed me to easily weed out a good number of psychologists that I was 99.9% certain would not be a good fit for me personally just based on what they wrote about in their profile and how they approach things, etc.

Once you call a psychologist, therapist or practice, sometimes there's a "gatekeeper" (for lack of a better term) that can tell you who might be the best fit for you in the practice. (The head psychologist at the practice I go to sort of serves as the gatekeeper there. You leave a message for her first, she calls you back and you talk to her about yourself and what your issues are and which therapist you'd like to see and they have to okay it as a good fit and make sure that therapist is taking new patients.) Other times, a psychologist or therapist might talk to you briefly on the phone so you can get a feel for if it will be a good fit before you dip your toes in with an actual appointment (or so I've heard).

Just my experience, but for me it was harder to open up and feel connected and "read" my therapist's expression and body language, etc. during our one video appointment. And that is after seeing her for years. I can only imagine how hard it might feel at first to connect with a therapist you have no history with via telephone or video for the first time. But hopefully you can eventually transition to in-person appointments. My psychologist's office is transitioning in late June to having more in-person appointments according to my state's next reopening phase...with forehead temperature checks, checklists you have to complete about not being sick, etc. and masks as always (though so far we don't wear masks in session).

And there might be some people (for whatever reason) who find video or phone appointments more helpful than in-person for whatever reason or equally helpful, but I personally prefer in-person. Or maybe I would have eventually grown used to it over time if I had been forced to continue it.
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: cdrworrywort on June 20, 2020, 06:18:15 am
Hi Everyone,

Mjwhite1-

I am sorry to hear your disability case denial....

You have fought for so long, and to have it being denied over and over again sure is upsetting.

I agree, you shouldn't see that therapist anymore, that caused you to have your disability case denied, because of incompelete notes and/or other factors for your case, as this will thus cause you to focus on that denial instead of your treatment to get you better

Now one question I have for you is: Are you planning on seeing a medical professional for treatment for your mental health issues, or more so for another disability case?

There are medical professionals out there who while they are helpful for personal issues, are actually no good with disability cases and cannot and/or will not supply the specific information that the SSA requires for a disability case to be approved, as seen from the example of your former therapist and other examples from others too I'm sure.

This is why if you are going to see a medical professional, for your disability case, you have to make sure that they are 'on the same page' with you in terms of documenting your daily and functional limitations in your medical records...

I notice too that on your profile too, that you have several mental health conditions. This too is going to be even more of a challenge in terms of finding the right medical professional for you.

So in essence, based on your case, you have to find a medical professional who:
a) Does online therapy during and after the pandemic crisis, as you feel more comfortable with this mode of medical care
b) Accepts your medical insurance and/or is someone who you can afford if paying out of pocket
c) Can deal with and properly treat your several mental health issues (and physical health issues)
d) Can deal with your need to fulfill the legal report requirements needed for a disability case if you are pursuing a disability case again
e) Most important of all: Find someone who you can get along with and are able to trust enough with your medical care...

I admit, I myself have had and continue to have these difficulties (and other difficulties too) for medical care, so you are not alone in this situation of not being able to find the right medical care for you...

I am in the midst of a CDR, and there is a pandemic, and nobody wants to take new patients on medicaid who have as many problems as I have...

I have no luck in finding good medical care either...

Finding good medical care seems very difficult for people like us, pandemic  or no pandemic, for your specific case too, but nevertheless for you I think it can be done...

Just keep looking and keep hoping for the best...

Other members on the forum here have has success with their medical care and have posted about their positive experiences with such, so hopefully your situation will end in success like theirs too...

Hope this helps too and I wish you good luck and success in your health and finding medical care and in any future disability case approval too...

Cdrworrywort
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: cdrworrywort on June 20, 2020, 09:10:06 am
Hi Everyone,

 I know this is a bit off topic, but in ways it relates to MjWhite1's case too...

Just to give you an idea as to how difficult it is for people like me, and Mjwhite1, who have several different mental health conditions, this is how difficult it is to find mental health care.

I did a quick search on psychologytoday, as recommended by Newdawn as a reputable source to use for finding online therapists.

And for my specific case, this is what showed up:

"No matches for (insert several conditions here) Therapists in (insert zip code here) - Try other Teletherapists"

Grant it, for my case, I only searched in my area, and included a search with 6 (the 7th one was not available as a search option) of my mental health conditions, and with medicaid only insurances, which reflects my situation..

But to those with several conditions and other insurance difficulties, I see the potential limitations in finding a medical professional able to treat their conditions properly...

This isn't the fault of the psychologytoday or other similar websites, who are merely just medical based search engine directories.

But rather it is the fault of the medical professionals and/or medical insurances who are not capable of handling and billing for and handling such complex cases

One solution to this is for those with several conditons to get some conditons treated, but not others. Getting some help is better than getting no help at all, for personal health care needs?

Another solution is to find several different medical providers so one gets help for all their conditions..(But I highly doubt any insurance company will pay for all this and/or it would cost too much out of pocket and would take up too much time)

Anothe solution too is to search 'out of area' and 'out of network', especially if it is online therapy and/or telemedicine  options...

Is this doable practically and financially?

Is this adequate for those who have several mental health conditons?

This does not even take into account patient-provider relationships that might or might not work out even after you get your 'foot in the door'...

Nevertheless, keep on searching....

Hope this helps and gives you all insight as to the difficulties in finding good mental health care for those with several mental health conditions...

Cdrworrywort
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: newdawn on June 20, 2020, 10:33:51 am
Hi Everyone,

 I know this is a bit off topic, but in ways it relates to MjWhite1's case too...

Just to give you an idea as to how difficult it is for people like me, and Mjwhite1, who have several different mental health conditions, this is how difficult it is to find mental health care.

I did a quick search on psychologytoday, as recommended by Newdawn as a reputable source to use for finding online therapists.

And for my specific case, this is what showed up:

"No matches for (insert several conditions here) Therapists in (insert zip code here) - Try other Teletherapists"

Grant it, for my case, I only searched in my area, and included a search with 6 (the 7th one was not available as a search option) of my mental health conditions, and with medicaid only insurances, which reflects my situation..

I apologize if I gave the impression that I was advising using psychologytoday as a way to find "online therapists". In fact, my therapist doesn't even come up in a search for "teletherapy" on psychologytoday even though she is providing telehealth services during the time of the covid-19 pandemic.

I was relating that I used psychologytoday profiles to cross reference/weed out providers that had come up during a search from my insurer's website.

Also FWIW, you really need to call each therapist and/or practice to find out what insurance the provider accepts. When I just now did a search for female therapists in my "area"* that accept Medicare, my psychologist did NOT come up in the results. However, when I did the same search without specifying that the provider accept medicare, she did come up in the results.

Similarly, when I did a search for clinical psychologists within a 15-mile radius of my house on medicare.gov, my psychologist did NOT come up in the search results. But when I search the medicare site under her name specifically, she did come up as accepting medicare-approved payment. At first I thought maybe this is because maybe she's not accepting new patients, but I searched for a psychiatrist in my area and my psychiatrist came up in the search results and I know my psychiatrist is NOT accepting new patients.

So for whatever reason, medicare and psychology today don't recognize in their database searches that my provider accepts medicare even though she does.

*I had to increase the search radius on psychologytoday to 10 miles in order to get the city to come up where my psychologist has an office. It's less than 5 miles away from me (about 15 minutes driving from my house) so I have no clue why she doesn't come up in a smaller radius search.

I do recognize that there seem to be some conditions that is harder to find a therapist for to treat and I feel quite badly that that is the case.

However, psychologytoday is just one tool, and an imperfect one. So I would advise anyone looking for a therapist to search multiple places, call around and find out what conditions they actually treat, what insurance they actually take, if they are accepting new patients, and if they are providing telehealth services to new patients in the time of covid-19.
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Just Me on June 20, 2020, 02:05:57 pm
It is difficult to impossible to find quality Medicaid providers in most areas. That said, online search engines are not up to date on Medicaid providers in any area. In addition, many search engines list those that accept Medicaid only when a,patient also has Medicare along with those that accept Medicaid only. The best way to find any Medicaid provider is to call the provider or call your Medicaid Managed Health Plan or state Medicaid office.
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: Mjwhite1 on June 26, 2020, 06:25:59 am
You guys are amazing, I cannot thank you enough for providing such detailed and thought out processes!

Last week when I posted, I did a bunch of google searches and cross referenced with good health reviews and found several local places that seemed to be a good fit with their processes and lines of thought, but when I called, I was told by the gatekeepers, that my issues were WAY above their heads, lol. I gave up and called my old doctor and had a session with her. It was not very helpful, but let me at least talk a little.

The answer is, I want help. Notes would be nice just to cover my bases, but honestly, at this point, being past my DLI, I don't know that it even matters anymore, because I don't think anyone will even look. I was talking more with my attorney and was very hopeful that my failed work attempt would prove my abilities. He said flat out, because it took place after my DLI, no one is even going to look at it, except in a new case for SSI. But a new case would probably send me for a new CE anyway. Trust is a big thing for me. I have a hard time trusting people who paid to listen to me.

I will try the suggestions in here when I feel a burst of energy and motivation and see if I can find someone. I was thinking of just giving up on all of it and quitting meds and therapy, but maybe that isn't the smartest thing after all
Title: Re: Therapy during Covid
Post by: newdawn on June 26, 2020, 09:01:10 pm
I will try the suggestions in here when I feel a burst of energy and motivation and see if I can find someone. I was thinking of just giving up on all of it and quitting meds and therapy, but maybe that isn't the smartest thing after all

Please don't give up on therapy and everything just yet. You never know what might be around the next corner. I hope you can sort of recharge and get a little bit of energy and motivation back. I know it's hard and discouraging with all the disappointments with your claim, trying to find a health provider that will take you on, and all the other stressors in your life. But don't close the door entirely on treatment. Tomorrow is always new day (or so they say).