21 Sample Doctor Letters for Disability

Artist: Zeraph Dylan Moore

The right kind of doctor’s letter can be a huge help to your disability case. Unfortunately, many doctors do not know the Social Security policies and do not know exactly what needs to be included in a letter (They don’t teach this in med school!). Here are some great samples letters from readers who were approved.

How to Work with Your Doctor to Get a Great LetterTips to make sure you get the best letter possible. Plus important information on what type of doctor Social Security would like to sign your letters.

Lotus’ Letter for Lyme and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Includes a detailed chart that provides a complete medical description of how and why she cannot function and work, plus excellent information on medical evidence. The basic structure of this letter could be helpful to use for any condition.

Doctor Lapp’s Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Letter – An excellent letter that addresses all sections of the Social Security Ruling for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Dr. Rowe’s Disability Letter for POTs, Migraines. ME and CFS – Daffodil got approved in just two months using this letter! Her mom shared it with another family who used it as a model with their own doctor, and got approved even quicker.

Dr. Fein’s Medical Summary for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Lyme Disease – Here’s an great example of how a letter does not have to be long to be helpful. This medical summary was written by Dr. Lesley Ann Fein.

Dr. Podell’s Fibromyalgia Worksheets and Letter – Scroll down to page ten for an excellent, detailed sample letter.

Zinnia’s Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Letter – Zinnia’s letter includes all the information the Social Security Ruling on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and explains how her case matches this.

Letter about Memory and Cognitive Problems – A superb letter about neurological and cognitive problems in a patient with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A letter like this could also be helpful for a patient with Lyme, toxic mold exposure, CIRS, MCS, mental health, or any other conditions that causes problems with memory, focus and concentration. Scroll all the way to the bottom “Enclosed Psychological Report.”

Sample Neuropsychological Reports for ME, CFS and FM – Excellent documentation of evaluating cognitive impairments in patients with Fibromyalgia, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Laurel’s Documents for Fibromyalgia & Lupus. Laurel was approved in four months for Lupus, Fibromyalgia and eye problems. This page includes:

  • Letter from cornea specialist
  • Letter from employer
  • Completed RFC Form from rheumatologist

Ten Fantastic Letters from the Health Care for the Homeless Clinician’s Network. Several letters discuss how patient meets criteria in the Blue Book:

  • Letter one: Stroke
  • Letter two: Bipolar Disorder
  • Letter three: Neurological Disorder
  • Letter four: A wide assortment of physical and mental health issues
  • Letter five: Pain in knees, hip and back
  • Letter six: Bipolar disorder, plus physical health problems
  • Letter seven: Follow up to letter six
  • Letter eight: Bipolar, back pain, hernia, asthma
  • Letter nine: Psychiatric
  • Letter ten: Psychiatric

Connie’s Lyme Disease Letter – Written by a disability lawyer. Includes guidelines for a physician plus a sample letter.

Tulip’s Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Letter – Tulip worked with her doctors to create this letter for her LTD appeal.

Disability Evaluation in a Nutshell: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Scroll down for a detailed doctor’s letter.

More Options

Medical Summary Reports – The SOAR program has an incredibly high success rate in helping people get approved for disability quickly. Although they only work in certain areas, with certain populations, you can use some of their techniques yourself. Especially helpful for mental health cases. This page includes reports for:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder (youth)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Personality Disorder
  • Avoidant Personality Disorder and Depression
  • Borderline Intellectual Functioning
  • PTSD and anxiety
  • PTSD (youth)

Sample Residual Functional Capacity Forms (RFC Forms) – Many people do not get a letter from their doctor, they get an RFC form instead. An RFC form includes every question Social Security needs to know about your ability to function. This page includes forms for:

  • Physical Functioning
  • Mental Functioning
  • Pain
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Thyroid Disorder
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Many MANY other conditions


Your perfect, amazing letter will not help you if the person making the decision at Social Security never reads it. It is tragically common for records to be lost, misplaced, or put in the wrong person’s file. How to Submit Records So They Go to the Right Person in the Right Place

Even if you have a lawyer, your important records can go missing from your file. This has happened to many of our readers. How to Tell What is (and isn’t) in Your Social Security File

Learn More

Daisy Wins Her Case with a Doctor’s Letter –  How Daisy got a great letter. “I had medical records from ten different docs over six years. But it turned out the most important evidence I had was that single letter.”

The Social Security Blue Book. Here’s an advanced method you don’t have to use. A letter that includes information from the blue book can be an enormous help.

How To Get Your Doctor to Fill Out Paperwork – It’s possible! Many of our readers report getting great letters from doctors who initially said “no disability paperwork”

How To Make a Medical Outline – This is something you can do yourself to help organize information in your medical records. Can be helpful to share with your doctor and/or with Social Security.

What Do You Think? 

Updated July 2018. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 

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6 thoughts on “21 Sample Doctor Letters for Disability”

  1. This is very helpful for those attempting to obtain SSDI. My wife is over 65 and has multiple chronic disorders that constitute complete disability. Though we do not qualify for SSDI we have encountered many grants and special needs help, that requires you to be disabled. What would a good simple letter of disability look like from our doctor? This is in California and her problems are severe arthritis, needing a complete shoulder replacement, CAD, post ARDS lung problems, pronounced Achalasia and severe pain from a C3,4,and 5 titanium brace.


    1. Hi David,

      I’m afraid that every program has it’s own way of defining “disability.” My suggestion would be to find/read the rules defining disability for the program you are applying for and then get a doctor’s letter using this language. In some cases, it is very simple, only needing one or two sentences.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi David,
      I’m in San Diego and in a similar situation to your wife, except I’m only 59have to use a joystick electric wheelchair to get around. The reason I’m responding to your post is I wondered if you would share what the grants, etc. you mentioned are available to CA residents. Whatever you can share is appreciated 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this resource. Are there any sample letters for Cancer? Specifically Malignant Pancreatic Cancer? AT my age I am eligible for Social Security, however, would like to try for SSI/DII first. It does pay more monthly. I know I have to sell my house. Still trying to figure out where to move next. Luckily I do have family support emotionally and for now financially. But how long can that last? Realistically?
    Thank you,
    Joan Moore


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