Published on: October 15, 2020
Having a doctor you can trust is incredibly important in general, but it becomes even more so when applying for disability. Your doctor plays an indispensable role in your disability claim. If your primary care doctor can corroborate this through what is known as a "medical source statement," your chances of being approved for Social Security disability benefits improve.
If they are not supportive of your claim, however, then it could spell disaster for your case. Whether or not they are unresponsive to requests for medical records or unwilling to complete forms, it can negatively impact your disability claim and your relationship with them. You need a doctor that is supportive of your disability claim so they can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
The Important Role Doctors Play In Your Disability Claim
When the SSA is determining which disability claims are severe enough to warrant benefits, they examine medical records and documents. Officials will also review the treatment plans that have been prescribed for you by your doctors, and whether you have followed them.
Your doctor is integral when applying for disability benefits. To even qualify for SSDI or SSI, the SSA needs to see records that your licensed doctor or psychologist has diagnosed you with a medical condition. In a medical source statement, your doctor can detail the symptoms of your condition and how severe it limits you in your daily life.
In addition, your doctors can provide an opinion of Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). In this letter, they can detail the length of time you can perform activities, such as standing and lifting, during an eight-hour day. They should also explain why you are limited in these areas; these are known as your “exertional capabilities and limitations.”
It’s from these exertional capabilities and limitations provided by your doctor that the SSA will determine your RFC. Having your RFC properly filled out by your doctor is essential for your chances of being approved for disability benefits.
Can A Doctor Refuse To Fill Out Disability Forms?
The short answer is, yes. A doctor can refuse to fill out the needed forms for your disability claim.
Sometimes, doctors are willing to fill out your needed forms but do not make them a priority because they are running a busy office. In this case, it’s important to contact your doctor and remind them of how time-sensitive these forms are and their importance to your disability claim.
In some cases, however, doctors are unwilling to complete their portion of the lengthy disability claim form. This may be because they do not consider you to be disabled. Even if they have made previous statements to your face as a patient, they may be making contrary statements in their medical records. Some doctors additionally charge a fee to sign an RFC form; if this is the case, paying this one-time fee would have more benefits in the long run since your doctor’s compliance with your disability claim improves your chances of being approved.
What To Do If Your Doctor is Not Supportive Of You Applying for Disability?
If you believe you are disabled and in need of help, then having your doctor be reluctant to help can be discouraging. If your doctor is unwilling to provide medical records and sign an RFC form, even if you’ve offered to pay a fee, then it’s time to consider switching doctors.
Consider switching to a doctor with a smaller practice that can devote more one-on-one time with patients so you can ensure they’ll devote their time to your disability case. More than anything, you want to have a doctor who believes you are disabled and will do everything to help you receive the help you need to live a fulfilling life. Social Security disability cases are already complicated and tedious as is without a difficult doctor, so finding one who is supportive of your disability claim can make all the difference.
Disability Advocates Can Help You Receive the Disability Benefits You Need
While a supportive doctor can be vital to the success of your disability case, it can also help to have an experienced and compassionate disability advocate on your side. Hiring a professional disability advocate when applying or appealing can increase the chances of your disability claim being approved since they are experienced with SSA policies, procedures, and case presentations. An expert advocate can ensure your case has all the necessary documentation and properly filled out paperwork so you have the best chances of being approved.
Want to speak with a supportive advocate now? Contact the professionals at Disability Experts of Florida today.