According to the CDC, there are about 61 million adults in the United States that are living with some type of disability. That means 1 in 4 adults have some kind of disability, whether it be back problems, autoimmune disorders, heart diseases, vision impairment, or one of many other disabling medical conditions. Living with a disabling condition is tough enough on its own, but one of the biggest problems is that it can affect a person’s ability to work efficiently which can lead to a loss in earnings.
How Do I Ask My Doctor For Disability Support?
If your symptoms and limitations have resulted in a loss of income or have prevented you from working altogether, then you may qualify for disability benefits. However, you can’t just call your insurer or the Social Security Administration and tell them that you are disabled. You need to submit medical records, written statements, residual functional capacity forms, and any other medical evidence from a doctor that supports your case.
The tricky part now is how you will ask your doctor to help. As much as it seems like an easy task, there are a few issues to watch out for when it comes to seeking help with your claim. Asking the doctor requires a person to have a good relationship with them. People who want to ask their doctor to support a case should accept that they will have to court their doctors from time to time.
Disability Insurance and Social Security Disability Benefits
There are two main types of benefits that people are usually looking to get in these situations, which are disability insurance benefits and Social Security Disability benefits. Disability insurance benefits are provided by insurance companies, whereas Social Security Disability benefits are provided by the government through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The benefits are intended to replace income lost due as a result of a disabling condition so that a disabled individual can continue to live comfortably in such times.
Aren’t My Medical Records Enough?
When applying for disability benefits, claimants are required to submit records from their doctor as proof of their disability. However, your medical records alone may not be enough. This is especially important with claims for disabilities that are not easy to confirm with the naked eye, such as pain and fatigue, as these make it tough for insurance companies and the government to accept disability claims.
In many cases, you may need a letter from your doctor supporting your claim, or better yet, have your treating physician fill out a residual functional capacity form. This means you will have to ask your doctor to support your claim for disability and possibly complete paperwork or write a letter on your behalf.
So how do you ask your doctor to help with your disability? That is a common question that people ask and these are some of the steps to take and practices you can use when asking your doctor for disability:
Decide If You Need Disability
This step may sound ridiculous, but it is vital. Filing for disability will change several aspects of your life including your professional career. You will need to take time and analyze the situation completely. If you find that your disability is affecting you completely and will lead to you stop working then you should go ahead with it. If you think that you can still push through for a while then you can postpone asking your doctor to give an opinion regarding your case. If you do decide to apply for disability it is vital that you come to terms with your situation and accept that things will be different from thereon.
Talk about Your Ability to Work with Your Doctor
You can start the process of asking for your doctor’s support of your claim by talking about your symptoms your resulting limitations, and how you are unable to work as a result. During a routine appointment, or even during a telemedicine appointment, you can speak with your doctor about how your medical condition is affecting your professional life. If you no longer have the ability to perform the duties of your occupation, or if you no longer have the ability to perform your daily activities, you need to tell your doctor about these limitations.
The doctor is likely making every effort to improve your mental and/or physical health, so it may not be easy to admit that your treatment is not working. However, an honest and open conversation about what you can and cannot do with your doctor should help them understand where you are coming from and the challenges you face due to your condition. This understanding will make it easier not only to ask for disability but also to get your doctor to accept your request.
Explain Your Stance to the Doctor and Ask for Their Opinion
After the doctor has an understanding of the challenges you face it is time to tell your doctor that you are considering filing for disability benefits. You should make it look like an option you are considering due to the problems that you have and that you want their opinion on the matter. You can also ask your doctor if he/she has ever done that before and what they think about the claim process with the SSA or insurance carrier.
Ask for the doctor’s opinion on your ability to work given your medical conditions and what they think about you filing a Social Security Disability and/or disability insurance claim. Your doctor’s opinion and the advice given should also help you decide if you want to continue with the claim.
Be Brave and Concise
When asking for your doctor’s help in your disability claim you should be brave and concise. Remember, doctors can get very busy and the discussion shouldn’t take too long. Tell your doctor that you are looking to file a disability application and you will need the doctor to help with your claim. Be brave and firm as you talk about it. Being concise means you will be straight to the point and won’t have a lot of side stories that do not help your case.
Explain the Importance of the Claim to Your Doctor
As you are asking for your doctor’s help, you should explain the importance of the claim to your doctor. Your doctor may not understand that you are in dire need of the disability benefits and decide to ignore your request at that time. Doctors usually have to file a lot of paperwork for each disability claim and would rather avoid the whole process. That is not likely to happen if they understand how crucial the case is to you. Describe our limitation, give your doctor clear reasons that you want disability, and explain how failing to get it can have a significant impact on you.
Reassure Your Doctor
You will need to reassure your doctor that the disability claim is legitimate. You should reassure your doctor that that is the only way for you to support yourself and it’s not a scheme to see what benefits you can get. Many doctors believe that after Social Security Disability and insurance disability claims are approved that people tend to let go of any efforts to get better. If your doctor still believes that you can get better with the necessary effort, they will likely be skeptical. Reassure your doctor that the process is beneficial to you and they won’t have to do tedious things such as go to court.
Thank Your Doctor
If your doctor has accepted your request and agreed to help with your case then you have a lot to be thankful for. Once your doctor has accepted, you shouldn’t act like you are done with what you needed from them. Be thankful and always show that you are happy with the help that you received from them. You will most likely have to get schedule extra appointments to get any paperwork completed by your doctor, and you may need additional paperwork completed further down the line.
Your doctor may agree to help, but that doesn’t mean they have the same urgency that you do. Sometimes doctors may not have the right information in the documentation which can lead to a lot of problems in the future. Follow up with your doctor to confirm that the documentation has the right information and to know when it might be complete.
How an Attorney Will Help You in Your Disability Claims
You might be wondering why you would need a long-term disability attorney. The answer can be found in the outcomes. In an area of law as complicated as disability claims, a minor omission or remark can result in you being denied payments. There are numerous nuances to the subject, and you will need the assistance of a specialized attorney to help you qualify for benefits.
Another incentive to form an attorney-client relationship with a reputable disability attorney is for assistance with appeals. Many claimants have had their valid claims denied, leaving them to deal with their medical issues and loss of income on their own. The Ortiz Law Firm will assist you in preparing a compelling appeal obtaining and submitting medical evidence that will convince the insurer or the SSA to approve your disability claim.
Request a Free Case Evaluation with an Experienced Disability Lawyer
Our staff, led by experienced disability attorney Nick Ortiz, will be with you every step of the way to ensure that you have as little trouble as possible. We want to help you get your disability payments and we want you to get them as soon as possible. We’ll assist you in gathering the medical documents and opinion evidence you’ll need to win your case, and then write a legal argument as to how the medical evidence supports your case and why you should be approved to receive benefits.
The legal team at Ortiz Law Firm has all the experience and knowledge needed to win such claims and we will be by your side every step of the way. Do not hesitate to contact us for help. Although we cannot guarantee results, we would welcome the opportunity to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss how our services could help with your case. Contact our office online or call us at (888) 321-8131 to schedule your evaluation.