Living with a disability is not easy. It can affect the way you sit, stand, walk, think, and ultimately your ability to work and earn an income. Fortunately, there are disability benefits available to people with disabilities so severe that they are unable to work. Some disability benefits are provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and others by long term disability insurance companies. When paid, these benefits enable people with disabilities and their families to continue living comfortably.
However, not everyone with a disability qualifies for disability benefits, and not everyone who would qualify has the necessary medical evidence to prove it. There are different qualifications that the SSA and insurance carriers examine to determine whether someone is eligible to receive benefits. Before you file a disability claim, it is in your best interest to ensure that your disability meets the SSA or the disability insurance carrier’s requirements. You should also consult with your doctor, who can then properly document your medical condition and all the limitations that come with it.
Can A Doctor Refuse To Fill Out Disability Forms That I Need to Support My Claim?
Having a supportive doctor (or doctors) and medical documentation is the first step to winning your case. How well your doctor documents your medical condition, its restrictions, limitations, and level of severity is critical to your disability claim because that is precisely the areas that the SSA and disability insurance carriers look at. The Social Security Administration and disability insurance companies will give weight to your doctor’s opinion on what tasks you can or cannot do, but only as long as the opinion is supported by all the other relevant medical records.
Despite your doctor playing such a crucial role in your disability claim, at times you can’t get your doctor to cooperate in filling out the disability forms. And you cannot force your doctor into filling out your residual functional capacity forms or any other disability paperwork. So, why won’t your doctor cooperate?
Why Won’t My Doctor Cooperate?
So why do doctors refuse to fill out disability forms? Sometimes doctors think they are doing you a favor by not getting involved with issues between you and the Social Security Administration or your insurance company. They don’t understand that the disability claim process starts with the restrictions and limitations that they give you. If none exist, the Social Security Administration and disability insurance companies don’t care if you actually have the restrictions and limitations. All they know is that your doctor has not given you any, and therefore, there is nothing for them to evaluate.
It’s to forget that doctors are trained to treat and not to document disability cases. Therefore, they may refuse to fill out disability forms because it’s not their job and they may not know what’s expected of them or how to approach it. Most doctors do not know the exact regulations by which you are deemed disabled. If your doctor does not know the specifics they are not going to be willing to put it into writing. It’s that straightforward.
Others may give some resistance or refuse to fill out forms altogether because they don’t want anything to do with the court system and a possible legal matter. They may be willing to fill out the forms, but only if they know they are not being drawn into a long-drawn-out court process. Some doctors may feel that you don’t meet the disability criteria even if you have a particular medical condition. Furthermore, the doctors’ assessments must be weighed by the medical evidence, and they know how inconsistent it appears when they state you are disabled on the form yet the medical records don’t support it.
What Do I Do If My Doctor Refuses to Fill Out My Disability Forms?
Applying for a disability claim is a stressful process, and it becomes even more stressful when your doctor isn’t supportive and refuses to fill out the necessary paperwork. You need to work with a doctor who is ready to help you with your Social Security or long term disability insurance claim, even if that means extra paperwork.
Educate Your Doctor About the Role They Play in Your Claim
If your doctor is hesitant to fill out a residual functional capacity form in support of your disability claim, you can try giving them one of our Doctor’s Guides to Disability:
Ask Your Doctor To Dictate A Narrative Medical Report
Since most doctors don’t know what is expected of them when filling out forms, it could be easier if you and your doctor complete any forms together. The doctor can ask you the questions or look right off the form and answer them. The answers provided should clearly indicate how you are unable to work in a competitive environment.
Consider Taking A Test That Helps Document Your Restrictions and Limitations In Your Medical Records
A long term disability carrier or the SSA will also review your medical records. If your doctor is not willing to fill out your disability forms, then you may need to consider taking a test that will document your specific restrictions and limitations in your medical records.
The most common test people use to document physical limitations is called a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). Functional capacity evaluations are done by physical therapists. They take approximately four hours in a day but some may go for two days. They accurately document how much you can do physically thus indicating whether you’re fit to work.
However, you should be very careful when choosing a physical therapist to work with. Not all physical therapists are the same, and some even work for long term disability insurance carriers. Therefore, they might give you a biased report that will not help with your case. You should consider contacting a disability attorney to assist you in selecting the right physical therapist for you.
Establish Treatment with a New Doctor
If you feel you’re unable to work but your doctor disagrees, you really owe it to yourself and your family to seek a second opinion from a new doctor. While perhaps you’d prefer to have the opinion of your doctor, you might want to think about how you will not get paid your disability benefits if your doctor doesn’t cooperate.
There comes a point in time when you have to decide whether the doctor is so important to your life and health that you will prioritize continuing treatment with the doctor over securing your disability benefits. If getting your disability payment is higher on your priority list, you need to find a new doctor who is willing to support your disability claim.
How a Disability Attorney Can Help With Your Claim
The disability claim process is long and frustrating. Simply put, it’s not a walk in the park. It is filled with hoops and hurdles that can be quite difficult to navigate on your own. If you aim to achieve the best outcome then you should consider hiring a disability attorney.
A disability attorney can help you with the issue of your doctors refusing to fill out the disability forms and so much more. An attorney can explain the entire claim process to your doctors in simple terms and guide them on what they are expected to do when filling out forms to support your disability case. With concrete medical records, the appropriate paperwork, and the support of your doctor to back your disability claim, you have a good chance of winning your disability case.
It is very unfair that you are being denied what is rightfully yours. We handle cases like yours every day and win a majority of them. But just because we handle similar cases to yours doesn’t mean that we will treat you as a mere number. When you work with Ortiz Law Firm, you are our priority. You can trust that your case is in good hands and that we will exert every effort to ensure your case is successful.
Our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers will review your disability case and ensure that you have all the information you need to help win your disability case. We can assist you in obtaining medical evidence and the appropriate forms and paperwork to support your claim. If you get stuck inside the legal system because the Social Security Administration or the insurance companies have denied your claim, Ortiz Law Firm can help you fight for the benefits you deserve.
Long Term Disability Insurance & Claims with an Insurance Company
If your long term disability insurance claim has been denied because your doctor refuses to fill out your disability forms, we can help. Ortiz Law Firm handles group Long Term Disability insurance (LTD) claims, individual policy disability claims, and ERISA disability claims that have been wrongfully denied or terminated.
We assist claimants with the administrative appeal process and filing lawsuits against the long term disability insurance company. During the appeal process, you have an opportunity to submit additional medical evidence to the insurance carrier. Even if your doctor is unwilling to complete your paperwork, you may be able to obtain additional evidence to support your long term disability insurance claim by following the tips described above.
Social Security Disability Claims
We also specialize in Social Security Disability claims. We understand the requirements for supporting evidence, the SSA’s rules and regulations, and we are familiar with the Administrative Law Judges that review cases at the hearing level. We will assist you in gathering the necessary documentation required to support your case and put forward an unshakable defense.
You can rely on us to advocate for your disability claim with all we have because we know that you rightfully deserve those disability benefits. We can fill out the paperwork for your application and appeals, submit necessary supporting documents, make sure you meet any deadlines, and represent you at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are thinking of filing a disability claim, Nick Ortiz and his team are more than willing to answer any questions you may have. If your claim has been denied, our team is ready to fight for the benefits that you deserve. Our team will ensure that you understand every move we make along the way. And one of the best parts of this whole process is that you only pay us if you win the case. This means you don’t have to worry about a bill from us unless you receive benefits.
We are really good at what we do; our client testimonials are proof of that. Our attorneys are committed to helping you make the next best decision concerning your disability claim and leading you towards victory. So, please allow us to handle the SSA and the insurance company while you focus on getting better. You can call us at (888) 321-8131 to request a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.