How a Doctor With a Good Heart Can Help a Patient Who is Applying for Disability (If She Wants To)

Recently, we’ve gotten a few comments from (lovely, kindhearted, amazing) practitioners who have written in to say, “Thanks for this post. I will share this with my patients.”

If you are blessed with an equally lovely, kind-hearted, amazing doc, and you are wondering what kind of help to ask for, here’s a list of great things a doctor can do to support a patient applying for disability:

💮 Write a Disability Letter

💮 Fill out an RFC Function form

💮 Refer you for Medical Tests and Assessments

💮 Refer you to specialists

💮 Have ongoing regular visits to document your condition

💮 Keep detailed, accurate (ideally typed) medical records

💮 Regularly include information about functioning in medical records

💮 Assess you for medical equipment

💮 Complete forms for home care (if you qualify)

💮 Signs forms for other kinds of help and services you might need

💮 Provide you copies of your full treatment notes

💮 Be willing to add a clarification to a record, if you discover an inaccuracy

💮 If your doc is not an “Acceptable Medical Source,” she can arrange for a collaborator or supervisor to co-sign medical records and forms.

Doctors Are Not Born Knowing This Stuff

As you browse through this list, please keep in mind that there is no course in med school called: “Every Social Security Disability Policy You Will Ever Need to Know.”

There’s also no class called: “Every Obscure Policy Ever Created by Every Insurance Agency or Social Service Program In the World.” Doctors have to learn this stuff, just like we do.

Even if your doctor is the nicest greatest doctor in the world, she still won’t magically know all this stuff. Your doctor is not a Social Worker. And even Social Workers don’t magically know all this stuff.

The more you can learn yourself, the more you can work with your doc to get what you need.

Doctor’s Are Busy

It’s also good to keep in mind: doctors are busy and some of them really, seriously hate paperwork. If you bring your doc a big pile of papers or a program manual or a long list of your all your symptoms, you may be disappointed by the response.

Some people research the policies themselves first, then they bring their doctors just a few sentences with just the important parts.

Some people offer samples. That’s what Willow does “When I need my doc to fill out a form, I always bring two copies: one blank one, and one completed one. My doctor asked me to do this and it really works. It is now much easier and quicker for her to fill things out for me.”

It works!

Lilac‘s doctor said all of his patient’s had been turned down for insurance for mobility scooters. Lilac learned the rules herself, brought them to her doc, and got approved!

Daisy‘s doc didn’t have time to compose a letter from scratch.  Daisy’s doctor asked her to write a sample letter. Once she sent him a sample, he easily wrote a letter for her.

Zinnia‘s doc had never heard of the Social Security ruling for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Zinnia brought it to her doctor and they went through it together.


🌷 This page is part of the free online guide: The Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability 

🌷 Learn more about this topic here: How to Work with Your Doctor to Get Great Disability Documentation

🌷 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌷 Page Updated: 7/1/19


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

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

1 thought on “How a Doctor With a Good Heart Can Help a Patient Who is Applying for Disability (If She Wants To)”

  1. This is great. So much resource information. I saved the article

    This is a very comprehensive site with quick, precise and easy to understand
    answers/explanations. Good stuff. Love the art work.


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