I have seen time and time again when a new patient walks into a new office and the doctor supports her disability application from day one.
I have also painfully seen time and time again when a person in identical and severe condition requests help from her life-long doctor, and the doctor says, “No”.
If your doctor doesn’t give you the response you were hoping for, don’t be disheartened. It may have nothing to do with you, or your disability. It may be how this doctor answers everyone.
So, what’s going on? Is your doctor just a jerk? Maybe…. But maybe not!
If you understand where your doctor is coming from, it may help your doctor to understand where you are coming from.
What Kind of Doctor Are You?
My doctor is focused – Some doctors are excellent doctors who are very focused on medicine and treatment. They do not wish to become involved in other part of their patients’ lives. These doctors may be very good at treating conditions, but they may not wish to spend time on your claim.
My doctor is scared – Some doctors are afraid to support disability claims because they are afraid of liability and think they can be sued. Others think they will have to go to court and testify in your case. This one is pretty easy to clear up: “No, doctor, you don’t have to go to court. If you agree that I have disabilities, then all you have to do is fill out a form for me.”
My doctor is disheartened – Some doctors started out supportive, but after seeing so many patients lose their claims, they became discouraged and stopped trying. They don’t know that they are now dealing with YOU – a patient who is learning all about disability and greatly improving your chances of winning.
My doctor has a policy – Some doctor’s offices have a policy of no help with disability paperwork. Policy Shmolicy. You can still win your doctor over. Don’t give up until you’ve tried. Here’s some ideas for: How to get your doctor to fill out paperwork when she says she won’t fill out paperwork
My doctor is busy – Some doctors don’t like paperwork and they are afraid that supporting your claim will take too much time. Easy to solve: Set up a special appointment if you have a form to fill out. Don’t make them do it on their own time.
My doctor is biased – Some doctors have personal political views against social security and welfare. These doctors are also known as the As-Long-As-I’m-Rich-I-Don’t-Care-If-You’re-Homeless Doctors.
My doctor is an idiot – Some doctors think that no one with mental illness should be on disability because “working is good for mental health.” Sorry, but I really do think these doctors are idiots.
My doctor is misinformed about disability – Some doctors don’t understand the criteria for social security disability and they think you must be bedridden or wheelchair-bound to qualify, or that you must be permanently disabled. Easy as pie: Just educate your doctor, or show them the regs.
My doctor is misinformed about paperwork – Some doctors think supporting you will be a massive amount of work for them. This may not be the doctor’s fault. Some patients ask their doctor to do their entire application with them!! This one is also easy to clear up: “No, doctor, I promise not to be a lot of extra work. Could I set up one or two extra appointments to review my medical history and fill out one form?”
My doctor takes medicaid – Medicaid does not pay a lot, and Medicaid doctors see a lot of disability patients and get a lot of requests for help. They may be overwhelmed or burned out.
My doctor is racist, or sexist, or actually is a jerk – Some doctors won’t believe you if you say you are in pain. Studies show this is more likely to happen to women and minorities.
My doctor is confused – Some doctors really care about their patients and genuinely want to help, but don’t understand what you are asking for. They may be telling you that you can still work because they are trying to give you hope. This one is on you: Things you can say to your doctor to get their support for your disability application.
My doctor doesn’t think my condition is severe – There are many reasons why this may happen. Very often it is because the patient downplays their symptoms out of shyness, embarrassment or politeness. Before you give up on your doc, make sure you are Being really really clear with your doc during every single office visit
My doctor is telling the truth – Some doctors are genuine and simply have a medical opinion that you are able to work full-time. They are entitled to their opinion. And you are entitled to find a different doctor!
Should I Stay? Or Switch?
The choice is yours. Here’s two stories that may help you out:
Dandelion Switched Doctors and it was the best decision she ever made in her life.
Dahlia Thought She Would Switch Doctors but it turned out she didn’t need to!