Filing for Disability: What Do I Need from My Doctor?
The most important part of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application process is being examined by your doctor. Without a thorough medical examination, it’s likely that your application will be denied and you’ll be left without the disability payments that you need to support yourself.
However, if you’ve never had to submit to a doctor’s examination for the purpose of receiving disability, you might not know what information you will need. Learn what information you need from your doctor when you’re filing for disability and what to do if your application has been denied.
Your Medical Conditions
One of the primary ways that Social Security determines whether you’re eligible for payments is by examining the extent of your disabilities. When you visit your doctor, you should be sure that you get them to write a medical source statement that you can submit to Social Security. A medical source statement is important if your existing medical records do not accurately reflect the severity of your disability.
In your medical source statement, you should be sure that your doctor fully describes your disability and what treatments they have administered.
Your Disability and the SSA List of Impairments
The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of impairments that qualify for disability payments known as the Blue Book. To receive benefits, your condition will need to either meet one of these listed conditions or equal the effects of one of these conditions. If your condition doesn’t automatically meet a listed disability, your doctor will need to provide proof that your disability equals an eligible impairment.
A Residual Functional Capacity Determination
When your doctor is constructing a medical report to be presented to Social Security, they will need to determine your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC will determine how much ability you have to work and will be used by Social Security to determine what level of disability payments you will be eligible to receive.
Social Security will usually deny any application that doesn’t include an RFC as they will not be able to successfully determine your level of disability.
Effects of Your Disability and Medication
For many people that suffer from disabilities, their condition may cause them to miss extended periods of work. This is particularly true for chronic pain or fatigue conditions. If you can still work with your disability but its effects will cause you to frequently miss work, you should make sure that your doctor includes this information in your medical report.
Also, if your doctor has prescribed you medication to treat your condition, your report should contain information about side-effects of your medication that may interfere with your ability to work. Social Security will use this information to determine if you are able to work in any way or if your disability completely prevents you from working.
Filing for Disability with Legal Assistance
Filing for disability can be difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the process, and if you need advice about what kind of medical information you should get from your doctor, you need to consult with the team at The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour.
Our lawyers are very familiar with the Social Security system, and we can help you gather the evidence you need to receive your approval or to appeal a denial. Contact us today for more information about our legal services.