Question of the Month: “My doctor won’t write anything to support my disability case. What should I do?”

May 11, 2018

Many doctors are willing to support their disabled patients in their efforts to obtain much-needed Social Security disability or SSI benefits. A doctor can help their patient by providing opinions about their patient’s limitations, which can be critically important in establishing a claim for disability benefits. (Click here for more on RFCs and the secret to winning your disability case.) “Sometimes, however, a client will tell us that his or her doctor does not want to have anything to do with their Social Security disability application,” observes Nash Attorney Dan Rosen. So, what should you do?

It is helpful to understand why your doctor won’t support your disability case. A good place to start is to ask him or her why they won’t help. Our advice is to be very direct and to the point with your doctor or office staff.

Frequently, doctors misunderstand what is expected of them. Maybe they believe the forms they receive are too long or too complicated or perhaps they are concerned about labeling a patient as “disabled.” Perhaps your doctor holds a personal opinion opposing the federal disability program because they believe it is an unfairly earned entitlement program. For some doctors, it comes down to money. They want to be paid for the time it takes to fill out the RFC forms.

The good news is that once a doctor understands what is helpful in a Social Security Disability claim, they are often willing to help. For example, a statement that you are “disabled” or “unable to work” is not helpful, and can often be harmful, to a disability case. The reason is that the government has no idea what the doctor means by those statements. Does the doctor mean, for example, that you can’t do your past job or any work?

The most helpful thing that a doctor can do is to assess what limitations he or she believes are caused by your medical impairments. As seasoned Chicago-area Social Security Disability attorneys, we can help to provide your doctor with the right information in order to provide the right type of opinion in your case. Contact us today.