The Role of Your Doctor in Your Disability Benefits Claim

Submitted by rsg on

When applying for disability benefits, medical evidence is crucial for substantiating the claim. Doctors must provide comprehensive documentation supporting the patient's inability to work due to a disabling condition. This evidence typically includes medical records detailing the diagnosis, treatment history, and prognosis.

Objective findings, such as laboratory results, imaging studies, and clinical assessments are essential for validating the severity of the impairment. Additionally, physicians should outline the functional limitations imposed by the disability, emphasizing how they prevent the individual from engaging in substantial gainful activity.

The Initial Consultation

It is important to select the right doctor who understands the disability benefits process and will allow you to discuss your disability and limitations during the initial consultation.

Medical Documentation

A doctor can help you make sure you have enough medical evidence to prove you qualify for disability benefits. This includes medical records which describe the diagnosis, treatment history, and prognosis. Objective findings such as laboratory results, imaging studies, and clinical assessments are essential for highlighting the severity of the impairment.

It is important to provide thorough and accurate documentation to support your disability benefits claim. You can reference the Blue Book to determine the exact medical evidence you need to qualify.

Functional Assessment

Doctors assess a disabled person's functional limitations and abilities through a combination of medical history review, physical examinations, and specialized tests. They evaluate factors such as mobility, strength, coordination, endurance, and cognitive function to understand the individual's capabilities in daily activities and work-related tasks. This comprehensive assessment is called Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment which helps doctors accurately document the severity of a disability.

Providing Supportive Statements

An example of a supportive statement provided by a doctor is “Based on my clinical evaluation and the patient's medical history, it is evident that their disability significantly impairs their ability to perform tasks requiring prolonged standing or physical exertion."

These can help demonstrate that you cannot work due to your disability, supporting that you qualify for disability benefits.

Cooperation and Communication

It is important to cooperate and communicate with your doctor throughout the disability benefits application process.

3 Tips for Maintaining a Good Relationship With Your Doctor

  1. Be open and honest with your doctor about your concerns, symptoms, and treatment preferences. Ask questions and seek clarification to ensure you understand your medical condition and the proposed treatment plan.
  2. Adhere to your doctor's advice regarding medications, lifestyle changes, and follow-up appointments. Following their instructions can help you qualify for disability benefits.
  3. Recognize that your doctor's time is valuable and be punctual for appointments. Respect their expertise and decisions while also advocating for your own needs and preferences in a collaborative manner.

Further Reading: How You Can Get Your Doctor to Help You with Your Disability Claim.

Attending Medical Examinations

You may need to attend a medical examination requested by the disability benefits examiner when additional information is needed to evaluate your disability claim. These examinations, often called consultative exams, are typically requested if the existing medical evidence is insufficient or if there are discrepancies in the documentation provided.

It is important to attend these examinations and cooperate with the process and continue treatment as requested by your doctor. Keeping up with ongoing medical treatment and documentation can support your disability claim.

Speak With a Disability Lawyer

Gathering the medical information you need from your doctor while making sure you have the correct tests to qualify for disability can be challenging. A disability attorney can help guide you through this process. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent lawyer who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your disability claim.