When applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you likely know how important your medical records are to your case. However, you may have overlooked the role your doctor will play. Your doctor, and the statements they make, will have a great impact on whether you are approved to receive benefits, and even during the appeal process for Social Security disability benefits. While you may know your doctor will be a big part of your recovery, you will also need them during nearly every stage of applying for disability benefits.
The Importance of Your Doctor’s Statement
You will need to present a lot of evidence of your disability when applying for Social Security disability benefits. You must submit documentation from any doctor that is treating you for your injuries but sometimes, even these medical records are not enough.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) may also ask for a written statement from your doctor that provides further insight into your disability. When the SSA receives your doctor’s statement, they will give it more weight when reviewing your disability claim. As such, the statement your doctor makes can quite literally make or break your claim.
Information Your Doctor Should Provide
Your doctor may know what information to include in their statement if they have helped patients applying for disability benefits in the past. You should always make sure your doctor has included certain information within their statement including:
- The nature and severity of your disability
- The expected duration of how long you will suffer from the disability
- Information about how your disability affects your daily life
- How you are responding to treatment
- How your condition prevents you from working
All of this information will help the SSA determine whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits based on the extent of your disability.
The Consultative Exam
Your doctor may provide the SSA with a full report regarding your disability, but the SSA may still ask you to undergo a consultative exam. Sometimes, the results from this exam may contradict your doctor’s statements. While that can hurt your case, it is important to remember the SSA will likely give more weight to your doctor’s statements than the consultative exam.
Your Doctor Can Help During Your Appeal
The vast majority of applications for Social Security disability benefits are initially denied. You can appeal the decision and your doctor can help during this process, too. You will need additional evidence on appeal, with much of it being medical in nature. Your doctor can provide you with this evidence, and give you a better chance of a successful appeal.
Find a Professional to Help You
If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits, do not do it without an attorney by your side. A skilled legal professional will know what you need for a successful claim and will help you obtain the results you need.