What doctor was the most helpful?

image3.png

Artwork by Miss Diagnoses

Thank you to all the amazing, kind-hearted, and supportive doctors who care about people with disabilities and are listed on this page. We asked our readers what doctor was the most helpful in creating accurate medical documentation while they were applying for disability, and we wrote down all their answers below.

About This List

The majority of responses on this page came from people who were diagnosed with ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. We also received responses from people with Lyme, Fibromyalgia, MCS, Mast Cell Activation, POTS, Environmental Illness, Mental Illness, and related ailments. Many people were approved based on a combination of conditions.

List below is for the US. A few doctors from Canada are at the bottom. If you are able to travel, you may find it helpful to also look outside your state. Some readers reported that the got their most helpful medical documentation by traveling to another state for one-time assessment (and follow-up phone appointments).

Please also take a look here for important things to know when seeking a doctor: How to Find a Doctor to Help With Disability Documentation.

Note about Lyme Doctors

Some Lyme Literate doctors choose to be private about their practice. In the list below, we have noted lyme disease treatment only if the doctor listed lyme treatment on their own website.

All Locations/Phone

🌸 Dian Haller – Vocational Expert. Not a doctor, but a vocational expert who can review your medical records and past work and create a report analyzing your ability to work. Recommended by a disability lawyer. 770-934-1865.

Texas

🌸 Dr. Rea – Founder of the Environmental Health Center. Environmental Illness and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. Highly recommended. Dallas.

🌸 Cerescan. Functional brain scans, brain imaging, brain mapping, QEEG. Toxic brain injury, traumatic brain injury, psychiatric conditions.

Wisconsin

🌸 Dr. Ruth Walkotten – Family Medicine. Reader’s report: Treats ME/CFS patients. May be retiring soon. Highly recommended.

🌸 Dr. Michael Fitzgerald. Occupational Medicine. Assessments.

New Jersey

🌸 Dr. Lesley Ann Fein –  Rheumatologist and Internist. Auto-immune diseases, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Tick Borne Illnesses. Very highly recommended.

Kansas 

🌸 Dr. Nancy Russell – Integrative, Functional Medicine

🌸 Dr. Alan Davidson – Family Medicine – Hutchinson, KS

New Mexico 

🌸 Dr. Jeffrey Nelson – Neurologist – Neurology, headache medicine, sleep medicine, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke.

🌸 Dr. Raymond Singer. Forensic Neuropsychologist and neurotoxicologist. Expert analysis, documentation and testimony regarding nervous system effects from neurotoxicants (mold, solvents, metals, drugs, pesticides). “Case reviews, second opinions, appeals; specializing in difficult cases.”

Washington State

🌸 Dr. Rachal Beda – Internal Medicine. Reader’s report: Compassionate and helpful towards patients with ME/CFS. History of serving homeless patients. Areas of interest include gender-affirming care for transgender and genderqueer people. Seattle.

Colorado

🌸 Cerescan. Functional brain scans, brain imaging, brain mapping, QEEG. Toxic brain injury, traumatic brain injury, psychiatric conditions.

Utah

🌸 Dr. Nathan Holladay – Myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome,  fibromyalgia, unresolved medical problems. Highly recommended.

🌸 Dr Lucinda Bateman – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Missouri

🌸 Dr. Kinsella – Internal medicine, neurology, neuromuscular medicine, electromyography, autonomic disorders, POTS. (Note: A reader recommended this doctor because he keeps excellent detailed medical records, not specifically for disability.)

Alabama

🌸 Cerescan. Functional brain scans, brain imaging, brain mapping, QEEG. Toxic brain injury, traumatic brain injury, psychiatric conditions.

Alaska

🌸 Dr Christy Martinez. Family medicine. Highly recommended.

Arizona

🌸 Dr. Jessie Pettit – Family Medicine / General Practice

Indiana

🌸 Dr Jay Prochnau – Allergist / Immunologist

Louisiana

🌸 Dr. Enrique Mendez, Rheumatologist

🌸 Dr Stephen Lindsey, Rheumatologist, Baton Rouge.

🌸 Cerescan. Functional brain scans, brain imaging, brain mapping, QEEG. Toxic brain injury, traumatic brain injury, psychiatric conditions.

Maine

🌸 Dr. Mitchell Ross – Neurologist – Multiple Sclerosis and other conditions

Ohio

💮 Dr. Cathy Della Mora – Neuropsychological Testing

Pennsylvania

💮 Dr. Victor Malatesta – Clinical psychologist

💮 Dr. Vaccaro – Rothman Institute – Philadephia. Orthopedics.

North Carolina

🌸 Dr Charles Lapp – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Highly recommended by multiple people. Update: Dr. Lapp is retiring, but training a new doctor to be his replacement.

🌸 Dr. Laura Black – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Highly recommended. 

🌸  Tracy Boggs, Neuro Physical Therapist, Functional Capacity Exam. Please also learn more about acceptable medical sources.

🌸 Myra Preston / Siberimaging – Neuropsychologist. QEEG brain mapping and neurotherapy. CFIDS and Fibromyalgia. Charlotte.

New York

🌸 Dr. George Piligian – Occupational Medicine – Preventive Medicine – Musculoskeletal problem. Assessments. Highly recommended.

🌸 Dr. Thomas Lazzaro, Forensic Clinical Psychologist –  Psychological and Psychiatric Testing. Recommended by a disability lawyer.

🌸 Dr. Gudrun Lange – Clinical Neuropsychologist. Expertise in neuropsychological testing for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia patients. Highly recommended by multiple people.

🌸 Dr. Susan Levine – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Highly recommended by multiple people. 

🌸 Dr. Benjamin Natelson – Neurology & Neuroscience – Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Severe fatigue or widespread pain. Highly recommended.

🌸 Dr. Enlander. MD. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme. Highly recommended. New York City and Skype.

🌸 Dr. Hendricks Whitman – Rheumatologist – Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma, Lupus, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Manhattan.

🌸 Dr. Yanina Kotlyar – Internal medicine, primary care, New City, NY

🌸 Dr. Balveen Singh – Psychiatrist, West Nyack, NY

🌸 Dr. Maria Muste. Neurologist, Harrison, NY

🌸 Center for Cognitive Assessment – Neuropsychological Assessment – Learning disabilities, concussion, dementia, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Lyme disease. New York and Chicago.

🌸 Betsy Keller – Two-day CPET testing for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Highly recommended by multiple people – especially for employer disability insurance. Warning: Possible health risk, please read more about this test

🌸  Amen clinic – Brain spect Scans and other tests. Brain toxicity, sleep disorders, memory problems, psychiatric conditions.

California

🌸 Dr. John Chia, Infectious Disease Specialist, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Highly recommended by multiple people.

🌸 Dr. Fasih Hameed, Family Physician / Integrative Medicine. Recommended by multiple people.

🌸 Dr. James Novak. Family Medicine / Preventative Medicine. Very highly recommended. San Diego. 

🌸 Dr. Peggy O’Toole – Clinical neuropsychologist – Neuropsychological evaluations, psychological evaluations. Wait list for testing is 3+ months. Very highly recommended.

🌸 Dr. Stuart Silverman – Internal medicine, rheumatology and allergy immunology.
Special interest in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, myofascial pain syndrome, osteoporosis and bone disease. Very highly recommended. Beverly Hills.

🌸 Dr. Andreas Kogelnik – Infectious Disease Specialist – Unexplained/Difficult Cases, Genomic Medicine, Infectious Diseases and HIV, Immunology, ME/CFS

🌸 Dr. Marcy Shapiro – Integrative Medicine Physician

🌸 Dr. Jose Montoya – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Infectious Disease, Toxoplasmosis

🌸 Dr. Robert LaVaysse, Internal Medicine / Palliative Care / Hospice

🌸 Dr. Kent Holtorf – hormones, hypothyroidism, complex endocrine dysfunction, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease.

🌸 Dr. Maurice Levy – Family Medicine – Los Angeles

🌸 Dr. Sue Stone – Holistic Integrative Medicine – Fresno

🌸 Dr. Barry Zevin – Internal Medicine. Homeless and community services. – San Francisco

🌸 Dr David L. Kaufman – Internist –  ME/CFS, Dysautonomia, Autoimmune Diseases, and chronic infectious diseases including tick borne diseases, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth Syndromes, and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Mountain View.

🌸 Dr Bela Chheda – Infectious Disease Specialist – ME/CFS, Dysautonomia, Autoimmune Diseases, chronic infectious diseases, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth Syndromes, and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Mountain View.

🌸 Dr. Sheila Bastien – Neuropsychological testing.  Knowledgeable about Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Environmental Illness, CFS/ME. Highly recommended by multiple people. Update: Reports from readers that she may be retiring.

🌸 Dr. Steven A. Castellon – Neuropsychological testing. Recommended. Los Angeles.

🌸 Pacific Frontier Medical – Steven Harris (M.D. – Lyme Disease). Jennifer Sudgen (Naturopathic Doctor – Hormone Disorders. Endocrine Disorders. Lyme disease). Note: Social Security does not considered Naturopaths to be an “acceptable medical source.” However, any records or letters signed by both Dr. Sudgen and Dr. Harris would be considered acceptable medical source records. Highly Recommended. Foster City, CA.

🌸 Workwell Foundation – Two-day CPET for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Highly recommended by multiple people – especially for employer disability insurance. Warning: Possible health risk, please read more about this test

🌸 Amen clinic – Brain spect Scans and other tests. Brain toxicity, sleep disorders, memory problems, psychiatric conditions.

🌸 Cerescan. Functional brain scans, brain imaging, brain mapping, QEEG. Toxic brain injury, traumatic brain injury, psychiatric conditions.

Washington DC

🌸 Dr. Brian Walitt – Rheumatology, Fibromyalgia, Chronic pain disorders, Epidemiology of rheumatic disease, Arthritis. Update: One of our readers has noted this controversy.

🌸 Dr. Alan Pocinki – General internist. Joint hypermobility syndromes and related autonomic and sleep problems and chronic fatigue syndrome.

🌸 Amen clinic – Brain spect Scans and other tests. Brain toxicity, sleep disorders, memory problems, psychiatric conditions.

Maryland

💮 Dr. Janet K. Anderson – Human health toxicologist and environmental risk assessor. Neurocognitive / Neuropsychological Testing. Highly recommended by multiple people. Update: One reader reported not hearing back. Please comment below and let us know if anyone finds out more about whether Dr. Anderson still offers testing. 

💮 Dr. Peter Rowe – Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Orthostatic Intolerance, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Very highly recommended. 

💮 Alan Vinitsky, MD – Internal Medicine. Adults & Children. Environmental Medicine. Rockville, MD.

Georgia

🌸 Dr. Karen Bullington – Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, thyroid and adrenal disorders, chronic infections, Lyme disease

🌸 Eli Solomon – Psychologist. Specializes in psychological testing and neuropsychological evaluations. Mental health conditions, mild head injury and concussion effects, dementia, learning and memory, intellectual functioning, and personality factors. Case consultation and expert testimony. Athens, Georgia.

🌸 Amen clinic – Brain spect Scans and other tests. Brain toxicity, sleep disorders, memory problems, psychiatric conditions.

Massachusetts 

💮 Dr Richard Horan, Mast Cell Activation. Allergy and immunology. (Note: May not know a lot about social security documentation, but nice, helpful, supportive, willing to work with you to create documentation. Request the specific testing you need).

💮 Dr. James J. O’Connell. Primary Care, Internal Medicine. Special interest in homeless programs

🌸 Dr. Bonnie Bidinger. Rheumatologist. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, soft tissue injuries, fibromyalgia. Mendon, MA

🌸 Dr. Kaaren Bekken – Neuropsychological Evaluations, including learning style, memory, attention, language functions, nonverbal abilities, executive functions, and social/emotional well-being. Massachusetts and Los Angeles. Recommended by an LTD disability lawyer. Read a report by Dr. Bekken for a patient with Fibromyalgia: Lilac’s Neuropsychological Report

Minnesota

🌸 Dr. Susanne Cohen, Noran Neurological Clinic, Neuropsychological Testing.

Iowa

🌸 Dr. Alan Braun Rheumatologist in Des Moines. Internal medicine and arthritis-related diseases.

Illinois

🌸 Amen clinic – Brain spect Scans and other tests. Brain toxicity, sleep disorders, memory problems, psychiatric conditions.

🌸 Cerescan. Functional brain scans, brain imaging, brain mapping, QEEG. Toxic brain injury, traumatic brain injury, psychiatric conditions.

🌸 Center for Cognitive Assessment – Neuropsychological Assessment – Learning disabilities, concussion, dementia, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Lyme disease. New York and Chicago.

Nevada

🌸 Dr. Ira Copeland, Internist / General Practice

🌸 Dina Noricks, Family Therapist. Please also learn more about acceptable medical sources.

Florida

🌸 Dr. Maria Vera-Nunez, Neuro Immune Medicine & Integrative Medicine, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Miami.

🌸 Dr. Scott Kaplan, Clinical Psychologist. Palm Bay.

🌸 Dr. Gary Weiss, Neurologist. Neurological testing and assessment. Palm Bay. Recommended by a disability lawyer.

🌸 Dr. Rebecca Hunton, M.D., Integrative Specialist. Holistic and traditional treatments. Her website lists many conditions treated, including Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. Melbourne.

🌸 Lisa Johnson, Physician’s Assistant working with Dr. Hunton (above)

🌸 Disability lawyer Mike Murburg has compiled this list of Doctors in Florida who are supportive of patients and helpful with documenting disability.

🌸 Dr. Peggy Watson, Family practice. Land O’ Lakes, Florida.

🌸 Cerescan. Functional brain scans, brain imaging, brain mapping, QEEG. Toxic brain injury, traumatic brain injury, psychiatric conditions.

Virginia

🌸 Dr. Rubin Cintron – Neurologist – epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, cognitive disorders,  migraines, neuromuscular disorders. Reston.

🌸 Dr Carolyn Peel – Family Medicine / General Practice. Richmond

🌸 Dr Renee Carter – Internist / General Practice. Richmond.

🌸 Dr. Don Martin – Rheumatologist. Note: As of this writing, not currently accepting new patients. Harrisonburg.

🌸 Dr. Matthew Bowen – Neuropsychologist. Brain injuries, post traumatic stress, Psychological / Neuropsychological evaluations.

🌸  Amen clinic – Brain spect Scans and other tests. Brain toxicity, sleep disorders, memory problems, psychiatric conditions.

Canada

🌸 Dr. Rhonda Schukett, Rheumatologist, Vancouver, BC

🌸 Dr. Charmaine Costa, Family Medicine, Vancouver. 

🌸 Complex Chronic Diseases Program – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme-Like Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. Especially Dr. Ric Arseneau. Vancouver.

Learn More

How to Find a Doctor to Help With Disability Documentation.

How Did You Get Approved for Disability? (All Survey Results)

The Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability

The fantastic comic at the top of this page is by Miss Diagnoses. If you have Lyme Disease, you should definitely come by and visit: Miss Diagnoses

Updated August 2018. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: 

19 thoughts on “What doctor was the most helpful?”

  1. Dr. Barbara Bishop in San Francisco, CA – ME/CFS and fibromyalgia
    Dr. Rajiv Dixit in Walnut Creek, CA – fibromyalgia

    Like

  2. PS I don’t see my comment after clicking the post button– I’d prefer that you just add the info, if that’s an option. Thanks. 🙂

    Like

  3. First off, I want to thank you. This website has given me new hope when I had honestly almost lost all and was going into a dark place. Thank you so much. Next I had a question as to if you’re aware of any South Carolina providers that may have been helpful to anyone that you have heard of please?

    Like

    1. Thank you for this lovely comment. I’m sorry to say we only have the info readers have reported above. However, any doctor can be helpful to a disability application if they wish to help and you bring them a copy of forms (they may not know them). I hope you are able to find someone.

      Like

  4. I was just re-reading this course case. This part is particularly awful:

    “Standard specifically warned Dutkewych that his policy “limits payment of LTD benefits to 24 months during your entire lifetime for a Disability caused or contributed to by Mental Disorders, Substance Abuse or Other Limited Conditions.” “As major depression is considered to be a Mental Disorder, Standard will be applying the Mental Disorder limitation and thus limiting payment of LTD benefits to a maximum of 24 months.”

    Like

  5. Hi Sleepygirl,
    I am continually amazed by the information you have put together here. I had so many questions about these things, and you seem to answer everything. It’s quite amazing.

    My work provides disability through The Standard. I don’t think anyone has ever successfully filed a long-term disability claim through them for lyme. I did some research awhile ago on this, and there was one person who tried to get LTD for lyme through them, but he was denied. Not only was he denied, they seemed to publicly destroy his life by posting detailed accounts of how he was an alcoholic and a drug user during a court trial. It must be very difficult for him to ever get a job again. I feel really bad for him.

    I’m kind of fearful of attempting to apply for LTD after reading about this person’s experience:
    https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-1st-circuit/1695944.html

    I know they give STD very easily, which I will probably need to take so I can try Dr. Horowitz’ new protocol with dapsone for 3 months. Hopefully that will help. I haven’t researched into whether The Standard approves people for other illnesses such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for LTD. I should look into that.

    Thanks again!
    -Craig

    Like

  6. Sleepygirl,

    I was wondering if you might be able to help me. After reading your blog, I now understand that it’s important to SS that you have the right kind of doctor. I have been seeing two LLMDs in Massachusetts for 5 plus years for lyme disease. I assumed that SS would not accept them because they are LLMDs, so I found a PCP doctor who believes in Lyme and might help me. However, I looked up all 3 doctors on their websites and they all have “MD” after their name, so now I’m confused. Do you think they are all acceptable by SS if they have “MD” after their name?

    I can send you their websites if you’d like to take a look.

    Thanks for this wonderful blog!!

    Like

  7. I got my disability ruling for fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome granted through the knowledge and instruction of Alan Vinitsky, MD, 2301 Research Blvd Ste 220, Rockville, MD 20850. His phone number is 301-840-0002. Some people feel he has helped them, but the buzz in the community is that he charges too much, upsells you on treatments and largely unnecessary tests and supplements, the latter of which he sells himself at a premium price. The kind of alternative doctor that most of us can’t afford.

    Like

  8. Dr. Alan Pocinki, M.D. diagnosed me with CFS and Fibromyalgia in 1998 at his Washington, D.C. office. He is located in Rockvile, MD now. Thanks to him I got on SSDI in 1998! He is an awesome physician!

    Like

  9. Hi there- I’m grateful to have come across your website. I suffer from CRPS (plus all of the fun things that go with it) & reside in Oregon. Do you know of any specialists, attorneys or individuals that have experience with CRPS? Any information would be helpful.

    Take care.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s