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Doctors note do I need a lawyer to win SSDI benefits?

So what does it take to win SSDI benefits? Unfortunately, it will take more than a doctors note. It’s not unusual for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applicants to find they have been denied for SSDI even though they have a medical professional who will attest to the fact they are 100% disabled and cannot work. Recently on our disability forum we had a user ask, “Do I need to seek a lawyer to help me with my disability case even though I have a written note from my psychiatrist who believes I have a severe mental health condition and I am 100% disabled?”


Will a doctors note guarantee I will be approved for SSDI?


There are many reasons you may be denied SSDI benefits even if you have a doctors note. For instance, if you are working too much when you apply you will be denied, if your condition is not going to last 12 continuous months you will be denied and if you do not have enough work credits for SSDI benefits you will be denied.

If you are denied for any of these reasons it won’t matter if you have a doctors note stating that you cannot work now and it won’t matter if you attempt to hire a disability lawyer because they will not take your case, unless they think they can prove your condition will last longer than 12 continuous months.

So, to answer the question, “Will a doctors note guarantee I will be approved for SSDI?” No, not if you do not meet the basic nonmedical requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Can a lawyer help me get approved for disability?


Now, assuming you have a doctor’s note and you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI benefits, but the SSA still does not believe you are disabled and they deny your claim, it may make sense to consult with a disability lawyer. Many SSDI applicants are denied benefits simply because they lack sufficient medical records to prove they are disabled.

In this case hiring a lawyer may be the next logical step to winning benefits because they can review your medical records and determine what may be missing. For instance, maybe your medical records have diagnosis and a doctors note but they do not list any of your symptoms or they do not clearly state your functional limitation to work.

Bottom Line


So do you need to seek a lawyer to help you with your disability case even though you have a written note from your psychiatrist? It will depend. If you don’t meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI benefits a doctors note will not help and a lawyer won’t take your case.

If you DO meet the nonmedical requirements and your medical records, including your doctor’s note, clearly indicate your condition is either on the SSA listing of impairments or you do not have the residual capacity to work you should be immediately approved and you will not need legal help.

Lastly, assuming you meet the nonmedical requirements but you do not have enough evidence to convince the SSA you are disabled and they deny your case, a disability lawyer can help, with or without a doctor’s note.
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