What Do I Do If My Doctor Does Not Support My Disability Application?

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If you are genuinely to sick to work, but your doctor still encourages you to work or doesn’t support your disability application, don’t give up hope. Many of our readers were in this situation and found good solutions.

Below are eight ways to try again.

Plus four ways to give up and start fresh.


EIGHT WAYS TO TRY AGAIN

TRY ASKING IN A DIFFERENT WAY

If your doctor is giving you confusing or mixed messages about your disability application, you may find it worth trying one more time. Here’s a few ideas for How to talk to your doc about your disability application.

TRY BEING MORE EMBARRASSING

Some people feel shy, hesitant, embarrassed or confused about accepting their disability, and emotionally conflicted about being unable to work. This can make it hard for your doctor to understand how sick you are or why you are applying for disability. Here’s a few ideas for How to Stop Hiding From Your Doctor

TRY EDUCATING YOUR DOCTOR

Some doctors think to be “disabled” you need to be bedridden or wheelchair bound or permanently sick. This is not true. You can let your doctor know that this is the social security definition of disability: You cannot maintain full time work and you have a condition that is expected to last at least twelve months. You can also print and bring the SSA definition of disability.

TRY THESE PAPERWORK STRATEGIES

If your doctor supports your disability application, but hates paperwork, don’t give up! This problem may be solvable. Many of our readers have success in still getting the paperwork they need: How to Deal with a Doctor Who Does Not Like Disability Forms

TRY FIGURING OUT THE PROBLEM 

Some patients give their doctors mixed messages, and then wonder why their doctor isn’t in full support of their disability applications. Dahlia thought her doctor was the problem, but it turned out that was not the problem: Dahlia Finds a Surprise in Her Medical Records

TRY BRINGING A LETTER FROM ANOTHER DOC

If you have an excellent medical summary letter or function 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.

TRY HOLDING OUT HOPE

Some doctor’s tell their patients, “It’s nearly impossible to get on disability” or “almost no one gets approved.” It’s difficult to know what this means. It may mean that your doctor doesn’t support you. On the other hand, it may mean, “All my other patients got turned down and I feel sad about it. I don’t want to get your hopes up because I have no idea how to get you approved.” If you think your doctor is just feeling discouraged, you can be the one to hold out hope for both yourself and your doctor.

TRY LOOKING FOR RED FLAGS

Sadly, some doctors do not believe that any of their patients should be on disability, but they may not come straight out and say this. When you tell them you are applying for disability, they may start talking vaguely about “recovery” or being “focused on your treatment” or “working is good for your mental health.”

If you told your doctor that you are applying for disability, and your doctor started talking about getting you back to work, this could mean many different things. Sometimes good things. And sometimes bad things. And sometimes very bad things. Please read your medical records. Find out what your doctor is writing. Learn more about: How to Tell What Your Doctor REALLY Thinks


FOUR WAYS TO START FRESH

TRY SWITCHING DOCTOR

Some doctors simply won’t support disability applications under any circumstances. If you’ve tried everything you can, and your doctor still does not understand how severe your condition is, sometimes a new doctor is the best solution. Here’s some tips for: How to Find a Doctor to Help With Disability Documentation

TRY BEING HAPPY 

If your doc doesn’t believe you are disabled or thinks you should go back to work, you are very fortunate that they told you the truth. It’s much better to find out sooner than later. Some of our readers report that they did not find out what their doctor really thought until they had been applying for disability for three years, and then read quotes in the judge’s denial letter. You may find it helpful to read Dandelion’s story: Dandelion’s Doctor Doesn’t Support Her

TRY A NURSE PRACTITIONER

Some of our readers report that Nurse Practitioners can be more willing to help with paperwork then MDs. You can also look for a Physicians Assistant. A few important things you need to know: If you first applied before March 2017, you should first read the acceptable medical source rules.

WHATEVER HAPPENS: TRY NOT TO TAKE IT TOO PERSONALLY

Some doctors simply do not support any patients to apply for disability. They have their own personal or political reasons that may have nothing to do with you or how sick you are.

Other doctors will give support to patients on the first time they meet, and will stand behind their disability applications right away. Again, this is often a reflection of the doctor and their personal belief system. It may not have anything to do with you.


LEARN MORE

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

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

12 thoughts on “What Do I Do If My Doctor Does Not Support My Disability Application?”

  1. My current doctor says that I’m not disabled due to being able to “articulate well”. Do you have any idea of how to respond to that? I’m going to apply for mental health reasons.

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  2. My problem is not just dealing with doctors who refuse to acknowledge that I’m disabled but doctors who are down playing my symptoms and pretending like nothing is wrong with me. I am 53 dating as far back as my teens I’ve had all of the symptoms of MS. They have diagnosed me with thyroid disease but I also have multiple sclerosis which is connected with it. I am hypersensitive to many of the medications that they have given me including the thyroid medication and for pain. I’ve had osteoarthritis of my spine and all my joints for a long time not knowing and I’m just overall at the chronic stages of these diseases and they keep playing mind games with me. Sending me to specialist only to have them tell me nothing is wrong…I have limited mobility I can only walk for so long before my legs start to feel real strange and like they are going to give way on me…the more I move the more pain I have. Even as I type this reply my left hand is going numb on me. I’ve basically been left in complete limbo and for dead by this medical system I’m under…they have sabotaged me. I’ve filed several grievance complaints only to get no proper results, most recent I have filed because they sent me to a specialist for nerve testing in my arms because I’m experiencing palsy in my left hand….and my doctor stalled over for 5 months giving me my test results…and I still have not gotten them that was back in June of this year. Deliberately not giving me my test results for a brain scan as well as nerve pain and problems in my arms. I conclude they are trying to kill me not help me medically. I can’t even find an attorney, none of seem to see or understand my plight.

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  3. Thank you for having compassion and understanding that real disabilities are REAL and not always easy to prove. IT’S so frustrating! We who are honestly Appling need help. THANK YOU

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  4. On that one, “TWO: TRY HAVING BETTER OFFICE VISITS If your doctor does not understand how disabled you are or how limited you are, very often (very often) this is because …” … on bad flare days I don’t/can’t go. And when I do go I’m mostly running on anxiety energy so that’s all they see.

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  5. ‘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.’

    do you have a link to this so that we may be able to print what you said here

    my keyboard is not working sorry or the typos-

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