While the right doctor’s letter and forms are a necessary part of the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits process, doctors are not obligated to complete your request or even write a favorable letter on your behalf. Here’s five steps you can take to help ensure the doctor is on your side and supports your efforts in getting approved for Social Security Disability Benefits. Improving your quality of life and ease of financial burdens.

1. Be Kind To Your Medical Professionals

This may sound like an obvious thing, but it’s worth remembering. All too often, stress can get the better of us, leading a person to get angry at all the wrong people. This is often made worse when we’re dealing with situations that are confusing or unfamiliar to us. Remember to take a deep breath, and be kind!

You want the doctor to be on your side throughout this process. As such, you should treat all medical professionals with courtesy and respect. It is understandable that this is a highly stressful time for you and your loved ones. However, like anyone, a doctor is more likely to work with you and provide you with a helpful letter and the information and recommendations you seek when you establish a positive relationship. This means that you should try to resist the urge to take out your frustration on the medical staff who are there to help you through this difficult time.

Also, be sure to make their life easier as much as possible. Start by being completely open about your condition, situation, symptoms and source of any issues. This can be embarrassing for some people; however, it is an essential part of helping your doctor do their job effectively and successfully.

You should also gather any previous medical records and test results and present them to your doctor so they do not have to try to track them down for you. These actions will go a long way in establishing a positive relationship that will help lead to a supportive letter.

2. Always Tell The Truth

Again, this may sound obvious, but when dealing with uncomfortable or embarrassing topics, sometimes people avoid telling the full truth. There is an old saying, “there are two people in your life that you should never lie to: your attorney and your doctor.” Of course, there are probably a lot more people in your life who deserve the truth, but this old saying exists for a reason.

Your doctor can be one of your greatest advocates in your disability benefits application and approval process. It is important to not lie to your doctor or leave out any details, so they are able to truly help you. Your medical professionals will be documenting your conditions and your treatments, and will be sharing this information with the Social Security Administration. The SSA demands truthful and factual evidence; any falsehoods, or even apparent inconsistencies, may result in a denial.

Therefore, it’s essential that you be honest and open with your medical professionals (the added benefit is that by being totally honest, your doctors and nurses will also be able to provide better treatment). It is also important that your doctor is not overly general in their letter. The SSA needs proof, facts and professional opinions rather than generalizations. The more honest and open you are, the better quality letter your medical professional can write.

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3. Get Regular Treatment & Keep Good Records

The SSDI application process can be lengthy, with multiple steps. At every level of the process, you’re going to rely on your medical professionals for help. One of the most important things you can do to improve your chances of success – and help your doctor help you succeed – is to get regular treatment and keep good records.

If your initial SSDI application is denied, you still have additional chances for approval during the appeals processes. During the appeals stages, the doctor who wrote your letter may have to speak on your behalf. As such, it is essential to continue with your appointments so the doctor remains supportive in your process and is aware of everything that’s happening with your conditions.

When your medical professionals provide evidence to the SSA, the letter or updates will need to have specific dates and locations of previous tests, exams and treatments. The more evidence you and your medical professionals can provide, the better! Do not avoid follow up visits and long-term treatments.

And, once you receive your doctor’s letter to submit the SSA, it is critical that you continue treatment and follow-up appointments. Getting regular treatment from your medical professionals can make all the difference in your SSDI application (and your life in general!).

4. Listen to the Doctor!

While it is important to be honest and open with your doctor, it is also important to listen to them. They spent years and years of study and practice to become a medical professional, and they want to give you the best care possible. If you want a positive relationship with your doctor and the best possible disability letter, listen to them. Listen to their advice on treatment and tests. The SSA is allowed to consider whether you failed to follow prescribed medical treatment. If you don’t follow doctor’s orders and that is why you haven’t gotten better, you must be able to show that you have justification for failing to follow your doctor’s orders.

Of course, doctors want you to be informed; self-education and reading up on your conditions is always a good idea. But, it’s important to remember that much of the information on the internet is unverified, misleading, designed to sell you something, or may require an actual medical education to be properly acted upon.

Listen to your medical professional’s expert opinion and follow their recommendations. If you are concerned about their advice, you can always seek out a second opinion from another properly trained and educated medical professional. If you are disagreeable or act like you know better than they do, it could end in a non-supportive letter or no letter at all. If you are having bad side effects or treatment isn’t working for you, it is best to discuss that with your doctor. They may have other treatment ideas that could work better for you.

5. Be Prepared and Ask the Hard Questions

If you want your doctor to write the best letter possible or to complete the necessary forms, be prepared before the appointment. Know exactly what is required of the doctor by the SSA. Be prepared to explain your condition, symptoms and limitations, and be honest about them all. Do not forget your previous medical records and test results showing any abnormalities. Be prepared to behave with a calm temperament and show respect at all times. All of these steps and actions will help to foster a positive experience and relationship that can lead to a supportive letter!

And before you make the formal request for a disability letter, ask whether they are interested in writing a supportive letter. .. This can be highly intimidating for many people. However, it is helpful to know their thoughts before you make them a part of your application process. If they do not support you, it is possible that one of your other doctors would prefer to help..

Doctors are people just like everyone. They have the difficult task of seeing people on the most challenging and vulnerable days of their lives. While it is understandable to be nervous, worried, stressed, frustrated and even angered by the process, it is important not to take it out on your doctor. If you want a supportive letter, be sure to act politely and respectfully and make their lives easier through honesty, listening and preparation.

This article is presented for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as medical advice. Medical decisions (including whether to start, stop, or modify any treatment plan) are extremely important and should always be made with the advice and counsel of a qualified medical professional.

Thinking about applying for SSDI Benefits? Our quiz is easy and takes less than a minute!
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Already receiving disability benefits? We may be able to help you optimize your benefits & save money!
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About Citizens Disability, LLC:

Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Our services include helping people in applying for SSDI benefits, managing the process through Reconsideration, and representing people in person at their Hearing, and if necessary, bringing their case to the Appeals Council. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled. Learn more about us and disability benefits like SSDI & SSI or give us a call at (800) 492-3260.

Citizens Disability is committed to helping keep people safe from fraud. We will never ask for personal details to start an SSDI application over Facebook or social media. We will only ask for certain details, in private messages, to confirm the identity of a client in a customer service situation. The only way to begin an SSDI application with us is on the phone, through a number found on our website, or one of our clearly-marked advertisements. Please keep your personal details safe, don’t share them in a public forum, or with individuals who solicit your information.