What Is My Doctor’s Role In My Case?
If you apply for disability benefits, one of the primary inquiries that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will make will be to look into your capacity for performing work-related activities. In all likelihood, your treating physicians will be key witnesses in establishing your ability to work. Consistently, you need to inform your Lakeland disability attorney of the names of all your doctors so that he or she can contact them and obtain their medical opinions regarding your limitations.
The SSA will also request detailed information from your doctors regarding your ability to work. It is extremely important that your doctors provide as much specific information as possible. If your claim for benefits reaches the appellate hearing level, your doctors’ opinions will be a major factor in the administrative law judge’s (ALJ) determination of your ability to work.
What To Know About The SSA And Your Doctor
The SSA uses standard forms when requesting information from doctors, and some of the questions may not be applicable to your case. As long as your doctors completely answer all the relevant questions, they will be providing the SSA with an accurate description of your capacity to work.
Some of the SSA’s standard questions do not necessarily lend themselves to “yes” or “no” responses, but the SSA does not provide space on its forms for elaboration. When these questions arise, your doctor will need to find space in the margins of the form to write his or her answers. More detailed answers are given more weight by the SSA, and a thorough explanation of your impairment is more likely to sway an ALJ than a brief one.
How Your Doctor Can Help Your Case
Sometimes, claimants’ treating physicians’ have personal beliefs that all individuals, regardless of any physical impairment, are capable of working in some capacity. While you may be concerned that a doctor who espouses that belief will harm your claim, you do not need to be. If your doctor describes special accommodations – such as a flexible work schedule, frequent breaks and limited physical exertion – that would enable you to work, the SSA will have a clearer understanding of the basis for your claim, and your Lakeland disability attorney will be better positioned to obtain benefits on your behalf.