When filing for Social Security disability, your medical condition plays an important role. The more information you give the Social Security Administration (SSA) about how your medical condition affects your ability to work the better.
Because of the importance of this information, you will need the help of your doctor to provide the SSA with the right details about your medical condition.
Meet with Your Doctor before Filing Social Security Disability
If you have a medical condition, you have probably been meeting with your doctor regularly for a while. But, if you plan to file for disability you need to make a special appointment with your doctor to discuss his or her role in helping you file your disability claim.
You need to prepare a list of each of your medical problems and how each one specifically affects your ability to perform normal daily functions such as
- following instructions
The SSA needs to know every physical or mental limitation you have so they can decide if it affects your ability to perform certain jobs.
You can discuss your list with your doctor at the visit and leave a copy with him or her. They can use it later when they report about your medical condition to the SSA.
You also need to ask your doctor to inform his staff to look out for a request from the SSA for your medical records. This can help make sure your application is completed on time.
What Your Doctor Needs to Report to the SSA
The SSA asks your doctor to write a medical source statement detailing information about:
- your condition,
- the limitations it causes you,
- and the medical evidence in your records that supports your claim.
Your doctor can write this information out in letter form. However, it could be easier for them and more beneficial to you for them to complete a Residual Functional Capacity form (RFC).
SSA officials use the RFC form to rate your capacity to work a job you have performed in the past or possibly could do in the future. They use the information in your application and medical records to complete this form.
Your doctor will have a better understanding of how your medical condition causes your limitations, so you may wish for him or her to complete a RFC. You can request a copy of the form from your local Social Security office.
Check back with your doctor’s office within a week or two to see if they have your medical records and completed the medical source statement for RFC. Once you have this information, you can turn it in with your disability application.
Providing this information could speed up the process of your disability application.
Getting Help from a Social Security Disability Attorney
Before filing for disability benefits, you may want to consult with an experienced disability attorney. A disability attorney will have an extensive knowledge of the disability process. They can help guide you through it. Your disability attorney would know what information your doctor needs to provide the SSA and would work with you to gather the documentation from your doctor.
If the SSA has denied you benefits, it is important for you to reach out to a disability attorney to help you with the appeals process. Studies show having legal representation significantly increases the chances of disability approval.
Brock & Stout’s disability attorneys have over 25 years of experience helping clients get the disability benefits they need. Contact us for a free consultation to see if we can help you.