21 Sample Doctor Letters for Disability

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Artwork: Zeraph Dylan Moore

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Doctor’s Letters

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 Letter – Letters from your doctor can help your case (a lot!). Or they can hurt your case (not often, but possible.).  Or they can be dismissed or ignored (sad but true). Before asking your doc for a letter, take a look here.

POTS, Dysautonomia, Neuropathy, Anxiety – Ruby was approved the day of her hearing. Both judge and lawyer commented on how helpful this letter was.

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

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – An excellent letter that addresses all sections of the Social Security Ruling for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

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.

Fibromyalgia – Scroll down to page ten for an excellent, detailed sample letter.

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

Memory and Cognitive Problems – Scroll all the way to the bottom. The letter is called: “Enclosed Psychological Report.” 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.

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

Fibromyalgia and Lupus. Laurel was approved in four months for Lupus, Fibromyalgia and eye problems. This page includes a completed Function Form from her rheumatologist.

Eye Problems / Cornea Specialist – Excellent letter showing how documenting problems with your eyes problems can help your disability case. This letter helps show how Laurel has limited ability to use a computer.

Lyme Disease – Written by a disability advocate. Includes guidelines for a physician plus a sample letter.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Tulip worked with her doctors to create this letter for her disability insurance appeal (private disability).

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Scroll down for a detailed doctor’s letter.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Lyme Disease – Here’s a great example of how a letter does not have to be long to be helpful.

Ten Fantastic Letters from the Health Care for the Homeless Clinician’s Network:

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

More Options 

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

Medical Summary Reports – Sample medical summaries from the SOAR program, along with guidelines on how to create a medical summary report. 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
  • Spine Disorders
  • Many MANY other conditions

Important

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

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”

Learn More

🌷 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.

🌷 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:

12 thoughts on “21 Sample Doctor Letters for Disability”

  1. Do you have a sample letter for post traumatic arthritis ankle,myofacial pain neck and shoulder,neuropathy and new diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis I also have bursitis in Rt shoulder and experience frequent episodes of sciatica

    Like

    1. Renee – There’s no way any website – including this one – could possibly provide such a customized letter as your are requesting. The letters provided here are simply an example of what your doctor needs to write, filling in your specific symptoms of course.

      Like

  2. 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.

    Like

    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

  3. 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

    Like

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