Many doctor’s have an “office policy” that they won’t fill out disability paperwork. Policy Schmolicy. You may be able to get them to come around. Here’s how:
TRY BEING CLEARER
Many people feel shy, hesitant, embarrassed or confused about accepting their disability. If you don’t believe that you are disabled, it’s unlikely anyone else will. You can try to start having great doctor visits and try asking your doc for support in the right way. See if your doctor becomes more supportive.
TRY BEING NICER
It is not your doctor’s job to fill out your disability paperwork. Remember, you are asking them a favor.
TRY ASKING THE RIGHT PERSON
If you call or ask at the person at the front desk, I can almost guarantee you that person will say “We don’t do disability paperwork.” Don’t talk to that person. Talk to your doctor.
TRY MAKING A SPECIAL APPOINTMENT
It’s a bad idea to mail your doctor the form, or let your lawyer mail it. It’s also a bad idea to hand your doctor a form in the middle of a treatment visit. Why are these things such a bad idea? Glad you asked. Violet will tell you: How Violet Got More Function Forms than Anybody Ever
TRY GETTING SEVERAL DOCTORS
Sometimes having more than one doctor or specialist can make be really helpful. Why is this such a good idea. Glad you asked. Jasmine will tell you: How Jasmine Got Approved Despite “Normal” Test Results
TRY GETTING A CO-SIGN
Many doctors are not willing to fill out forms or write letters themselves. But if someone else fills it out, the doctor is willing to review what is written and co-sign it. I have seen this happen many times, and it is a recommended practice from SOAR, a government program that helps homeless people get approved for disability. Belladonna’s doctor said she would not do any paperwork! Here’s How Belladonna Used Ninja Skills to Get a Good Doctor’s Report
TRY UPGRADING YOUR DOCTOR
If your doctor tells you that you are not disabled or that you can work… that does not mean your doctor is right! Only you know your own body and how you feel. Doctors are not gods. They can be wrong. Sometimes switching to a new doctor is the only way to win your case. Here’s a great story that may inspire you: Dandelion Switches Doctors
TRY MAKING A LIST
It can be helpful to give your doctor a list of your diagnosis, symptoms and limitations. Find out how to do that in this This Article By Doctor David Morton.
TRY EDUCATING YOUR DOCTOR
Some doctors think that in order to qualify as “disabled” you need to be bedridden or wheel-chair bound or permanently sick. This is not true. You can try asking your doctor if he believes that you are not able to work full-time. If he says yes, you can let him know that this is the social security definition of disability: You cannot maintain full time work (more than $1,170 per month) and you have a condition that is expected to last at least twelve months. If your doctor seems unsure, you can print and show her a copy of the regulations.
TRY REASSURING YOUR DOCTOR
Some doctors think that supporting your application means they will have to go to court! Not true. Make sure they understand that you are not asking for a big time commitment and that you do not want to take up a lot of their time. Try asking if your doctor would be willing to have just one or two appointments with you to go over some questions about your condition and your application.
TRY ASKING FOR LESS
Never ask your doctor to review or fill out your disability application with you. This is way outside of your doctor’s job. Try asking your doctor to fill out an rfc function form for you and see if they will do this one form.
TRY BEING HAPPY
If your doc doesn’t believe you are disabled or thinks you should go back to work and won’t fill out disability paperwork, THANK GOD they said no to the paperwork. Paperwork from a doctor like that can really hurt your case. Thankfully, they told you instead of writing it down. Now go get a better doctor.
TRY BRINGING A LETTER FROM ANOTHER DOC
If you have an excellent medical summary letter or rfc form from another doctor or from your past doctor, try bringing this with you. This may help your doctor gain a better understanding of your medical condition and be more willing to accept your disability. Of course, only bring this if it is very strong and clearly shows you are disabled.
TRY ACCEPTING A FEE
Here’s a great tip from a reader here: “If my doctor couldn’t complete the paperwork during my appointment time, she’d let me know that she’d have to bill me for time outside of our appointment. Insurance didn’t cover her time spent filling out paperwork outside of the appointment. It wasn’t incredibly expensive and was well worth it to keep my disability benefits. I would recommend that if people have a supportive doc but there is not enough time during appointments to fill out certain paperwork, ask if the doctor can bill them for time spent outside of the appointment filling out a form.”
TRY CHECKING YOUR RECORDS
If your doctor is generally supportive but unwilling to fill out any additional paperwork with you, then you can get copies of your medical records and see how strong they are. If your records are already strong, you may be able to get approved without needing any additional paperwork. Be warned: Most doctors do not know how to create strong records for disability claims. If the records simply list your diagnosis and all your symptoms, this usually will not be enough to get approved. Strong records will include three things: One: Severity, the records should list your symptoms as severe and be clear and consistent about the severity of your condition. Two: Functioning, the records should regularly discuss your ability to sit, stand, walk, bend, focus, concentrate, or function in other ways. Three: Medical evidence, such as x-rays, MRIs, bloodwork or other tests.
TRY ASKING IN A DIFFERENT WAY
Sometimes doctors want to help you, but don’t understand what you are asking for or what kind of support you are wanting. Here’s an example of two conversations that can happen with the same doctor:
GOOD DOCTOR / BAD CONVERSATION
You: “Doc, I’m so sick all the time. I’m worried I won’t be able to work again. I really want to work but I am in so much pain and I can’t stand up. I have no money. Do you think I can work?”
Doctor: “Yes. I believe in you. I believe you will be able to work. Maybe you can find a job you can do sitting down.”
You: “I want to work but I feel like I can’t. I think I should apply for disability”
Doctor: “Don’t give up hope. We can try a different medication. Maybe you can try working part time.”
GOOD DOCTOR / GOOD CONVERSATION
You: “Doc, I am completely unable to work. I am applying for Social Security Disability. I am wondering if you believe I cannot work and support my claim for disability?”
Doctor: “Yes. I believe in you. I support your application for disability”
You: “Thank you. I am really grateful for your help. If I bring you a form, would you be willing to look at it with me and see if it is something you might be able to fill out?”
Doctor: “Yes. I will fill out that form with you.”
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