One of the most common questions we get from Social Security disability claimants is, “Why won’t my doctor help me with my Social Security disability application?” Although this is a common question, it is unlikely that you will find a doctor who will complete a Social Security disability application for you, nor is it expected by the Social Security Administration.
How does the Social Security Administration Make the Disability Determination?
The Social Security Administration will request your most recent medical records, evaluate the records and determine if your conditions either meet a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments or are so severe that they do not allow you to perform substantial gainful activity.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will request information from your doctors, caseworkers, therapists, counselors, psychologists, and hospitals. If you have any recent records and you can make copies and give them to the Social Security Administration (SSA) this can expedite the decision making process. Waiting for medical records to be sent by the treating doctors is one of the main reasons the disability decision process takes so long.
Who completes the Social Security disability application?
If you want to apply for either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), it is up to YOU to complete the SSI or SSDI disability application. Can you hire a disability lawyer? Yes, you can and you can request help from friends or family, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) will not send the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) paperwork to your doctors and they do not expect your doctors to complete the application.
Activities of Daily Living- Do I need to provide this information to the SSA?
Some claimants refuse to answer questions or put “not applicable” on all the questions they do not want to complete, than they complain that they keep getting denied. If there is any advice that claimants should heed it is this, “The Social Security Administration will not do the work for you. You will have to take a proactive approach to getting SSI or SSDI benefits.”
The Social Security Administration receives millions of applications each year. If you do not answer questions on your application this can add processing time to your application or can be viewed as “uncooperative” by the SSA.
For example, if the SSA asks what you do during the day and you answer not applicable, the SSA knows this cannot be true because everyone does something. If you sit in a chair all day because you do not have the physical capacity to go to the store or pay your bills or the mental capacity to “deal with other people,” this can be relevant to your Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance case.
What do doctors do to help you get Social Security Disability?
Do your doctors have a role in the disability decision at all? They will not be asked to make a disability decision. In fact, if they state you are disabled this will not guarantee you will receive benefits. The information they provide, however, is given considerable weight in the decision, especially if there is additional medical evidence to support their claims (laboratory findings, blood reports, MRIs, X-rays, etc.).
The most important thing your doctor can do is provide clear medical evidence in your medical files which states how your ability to work is severely limited due to your physical or mental health conditions.
- Consultative Examination – How long will it take for a SSA disability decision? (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- SSDI and expediting Disability Reinstatement (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- SSDI – Most Common Questions Part II (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- SSDI – Most Common Questions Part I (disabilitybenefitshome.com)