Does a Doctor Have to Fill Our Disability Paperwork in Pennsylvania?
There are some injuries and medical conditions that will limit a person’s ability to work. If you suffer from a medical impairment that makes it impossible to return to work, you might qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To be eligible for disability benefits under either program, you must demonstrate that you have a qualifying medical impairment.
To prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) your medical condition qualifies for benefits, you need medical evidence. Having your treating physician complete the disability paperwork or provide a medical statement regarding your condition will increase your chances of approval. However, doctors in Pennsylvania are not required to provide this service. Our Pennsylvania Social Security Disability lawyers will work with you and your treating physicians to gather the necessary medical documentation.
Disability benefits are a critical source of income for many Pennsylvanians. However, the application process is daunting and challenging. The majority of initial claims are denied. One of the main reasons is a lack of sufficient medical evidence. If you are applying for SSDI or SSI, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 515-2954 to get experienced legal representation.
Information Your Doctor Should Include in a Medical Statement in Pennsylvania
Proving you have a medical impairment or disability is a key component in obtaining SSDI or SSI benefits. Your doctor could help you during this process but providing various information and documentation.
List Your Diagnosed Medical Condition
The SSA’s requirements for SSDI or SSI include demonstrating that you have been diagnosed with a medical condition or impairment. This diagnosis must come from a licensed physician or psychologist. In addition to the diagnosis, the impairment must be evaluated regarding its impact on your ability to work.
If your medical history is not comprehensive, a medical source statement completed by your doctor could explain your condition to the SSA. Your doctor could provide vital information showing what medical condition was diagnosed. More importantly, your doctor has the ability to detail how your symptoms impair your capability to perform the various task necessary to work. Having this information in your initial file is also crucial if you need to appeal a claim denial.
Explain Whether You Meet or Equal a Blue Book Listing
The SSA publishes a list of medical impairments that is commonly called the “Blue Book.” This listing serves as a guide for doctors and case specialists. If your condition meets all the criteria for an impairment listed in the Blue Book, the chances of an approval increase exponentially. In some cases, your condition might not meet the condition of one listing, but your impairment encompasses criteria from various listings. Your doctor could thoroughly explain how your medical condition meets the listed requirements.
Residual Functional Capacity
If you suffer from many serious medical conditions but your doctor’s letter simply states that “you are disabled,” your application will likely be denied by the SSA. The SSA has the sole authority to determine if you are disabled according to their requirements. The important thing for your doctor to do is to discuss how your condition adversely affects your ability to perform ordinary tasks, such as sitting, standing, or walking.
The SSA will use your doctor’s information to determine your “residual functional capacity” (RFC). Your RFC is a representation of your ability to perform ordinary work tasks on a regular basis.
Therefore, your doctor needs to give a comprehensive and detailed description of your limitations. For example, can you grasp items with your hands, are you able to stoop or bend, and do you have the mental capacity to interact and understand co-workers or supervisors?
When listing these limitations, your doctor should explain how their conclusions were reached. To illustrate this point, a poorly written medical source statement would say you cannot bend down. A comprehensive one would indicate that your range of motion is severely limited because of a degenerative disc apparent on several diagnostic tests.
Why Would Your Doctor Not Complete Your Disability Paperwork
As stated above, your doctor is not required to complete your disability paperwork. There are a variety of reasons why your doctor might refuse to help you.
Your doctor might not believe your injury or medical condition warrants disability benefits. If this is the case, it is a good idea to seek out a second or third opinion. You are not required to stay with one doctor.
Your doctor might be reluctant to be involved in any legal disputes, especially if you are working on an appeal of a denied application.
In other cases, some doctors simply lack the time. There are situations where doctors are so overworked that they do not have the available time to devote to additional paperwork. If this is the case, you should have the help of our Philadelphia SSDI lawyers.
Some doctors will refuse to perform any additional work if there are outstanding fees. Furthermore, for some physicians, there are services fees directly associated with the completion of medical records or forms. Your doctor will not complete the necessary documents if you have outstanding bills.
Call Our Pennsylvania Disability Attorneys if Your Doctor is Not Cooperative
The importance of medical evidence when applying for Social Security disability benefits cannot be understated. Your doctor’s statement and input will greatly increase your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve. Unfortunately, your doctor is not required to help you. This is only one of the reasons why you should have one of our Allentown disability attorneys working at your side. Call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 515-2954 to review your options.