When applying for Social Security disability, a commonly asked question is: “Can my doctor put me on disability?” The short answer is no. However, your doctor can play an essential part in your case – detailed statements from your treating physician supported by objective medical evidence can carry some weight in a Social Security disability claim.
If you’re wondering about the role your doctor might play in your Social Security disability claim, the following will help you understand not only how they can influence your disability claim, but also what you should ask for to increase your chances at a successful application.
Importance of Your Medical Provider’s Statement
Objective medical findings can be a “make or break” factor when it comes to the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability approval process, though more often than not, evidence alone won’t be enough to prove the extent of a disability. Your medical provider can offer a qualified perspective that helps verify the evidence of your health condition, giving it added validity when it comes to how the SSA reviews disability claims.
How to Talk with Your Provider About Your Disability Claim
It’s important to discuss with your provider your plans to apply for Social Security disability. This can help you prepare everything you need for your case, as well as get your treating doctor’s qualified opinion about your condition.
Explain Your Disability – Try to help your provider understand the limitations your condition places on your daily life. This is crucial in helping your doctor see how prescribed treatments are or aren’t working and get valuable insight into your symptoms.
Ask For a Statement – If your provider agrees that you should be receiving benefits based on your disabling condition, ask them to prepare a statement for the SSA to be submitted alongside your medical evidence. As much detail as possible is key when it comes to putting this type of written statement together. Your doctor can reference the Residual Functional Capacity Form used by the SSA’s examiners to help them make a determination.
Consider an RFC Evaluation – If your provider doesn’t feel they have enough evidence to support your claim, consider asking them to refer you for a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) Evaluation or a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) – this is conducted by a third-party medical professional and can provide you with additional documentation for your disability case.
What to Ask Your Medical Provider For
When you approach your doctor for medical details pertaining to your Social Security disability claim, there is specific information that can be helpful to request so that your case is clearly laid out for the SSA. A medical provider shouldn’t simply state that you are “disabled”or that you “can’t work” but why you have limitations due to your condition.
A medical provider’s statement should be detailed and include the following:
- Diagnosis of your disabling condition, along with any relevant test results
- Severity and extent of your condition, including any physical or mental limitations
- Ability to perform daily tasks or gainful work activities
- How you are responding to prescribed treatments
- Expected duration of your disability
This information can supplement your medical evidence to determine the extent of your disability and help the SSA conclude whether you are within their guidelines to qualify for disability benefits.
Contact the Disability Attorneys at Woodruff & Mathis
If your initial Social Security disability application is denied, it may be worthwhile to consult with your doctor about getting additional medical evidence to support you in the appeals process. You should also consider hiring a disability lawyer like Woodruff & Mathis to help you through each step of the appeals process – we can help coordinate with your medical provider and will know exactly what evidence is needed for the greatest chance of success in your case.
To learn more about our Social Security disability legal services, please request an appointment with our attorneys today.