The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives more than two million applications for Social Security Disability benefits each and every year. Of these applications, a mere thirty percent are approved during the initial stage of the application process. This is largely due to the fact that the majority of applicants do not provide the SSA with enough evidence to prove the extent of their disability and how that disability prevents them from being able to work.
If you plan on filing an application for Social Security Disability benefits, a statement from your treating physician can help you prove your disability in order to receive the Social Security Disability benefits that you are entitled to. The question is, how do you get your doctor's help in order to obtain the disability benefits you need?
The following information can help you get your doctor's assistance in order to improve your chances of a successful Social Security Disability application.
Meeting with Your Doctor
Prior to filing your claim for Social Security Disability benefits, you should contact your doctor's office to schedule an appointment. You will want to discuss your plans to file for disability benefits with your treating physician. When filing a claim for Social Security Disability with the SSA, the SSA will request a written statement from your doctor. If you want to increase your chances of receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you will want your doctor to be prepared for this request.
Sit down and discuss your condition with your doctor. Explain how your disability has had an impact on your ability to perform routine day-to-day activities. You and you doctor can review the Blue Book listing for the condition you are experiencing to establish if you meet the qualifications. Your doctor needs to understand the extent of your disability if he or she is expected to relay the information properly to the SSA when providing them with a written statement.
During this appointment, you should ask your doctor whether or not he agrees that you qualify for disability benefits. If your doctor supports your Social Security Disability claim, your chances of receiving a favorable decision from the SSA are significantly increased.
What Is Needed From Your Doctor?
Your doctor will need to provide the SSA with a written statement regarding the extent and circumstances of your disability. This statement should be detailed and informative and supported by objective medical evidence. A simple statement from your doctor claiming that you are unable to work will not help your claim if there is no objective evidence to support that claim. Your doctor's statement must be supported by objective medical findings, such as laboratory test results and x-ray images.
When meeting with your doctor, explain that he or she will need to provide the SSA with information about your diagnosis, the physical restrictions your condition places on you, the prognosis of your condition and how your condition prevents you from being able to participate in gainful work activity. You should also inform your doctor that they will need to provide medical evidence supporting these facts.
Your doctor may already be aware of the information that is needed to process your Social Security Disability claim, but it doesn't hurt to discuss this information with your treating physician prior to submitting your claim for benefits.
If Your Claim for Benefits Has Been Denied
If you have already filed an application for Social Security Disability benefits, it is still not too late to get help from your doctor. When you reach the second stage of the disability appeal process, you will need to attend a hearing before an administrative law judge. This judge will place great weight in the statement provided by the doctor who has been treating your condition.
If your doctor has not yet provided the SSA with a complete and accurate statement regarding your condition, it is crucial that he or she do so before the date of your hearing. Contact your doctor, either in person or by phone, to discuss your concerns and to request the statement be completed before your hearing date.
Consult with an Attorney
Prior to filing for disability benefits, you may want to consider hiring a disability attorney. Disability attorneys are very knowledgeable about the process and will be able to contact your physician to gather the necessary documentation. If you have already been denied benefits, then it is extremely important that you do hire an attorney. Proper legal representation will significantly increase your chances of winning your appeal at the hearing stage of the disability claim process