How Doctors Can Help When Applying for Disability Benefits
Being disabled and unable to work is not only a physical challenge, but it may also be an economic and a psychological burden, too. Certainly, when a person is unable to work due to a physical limitation, they may feel frustrated with their disability and lack of ability to earn an income, and very concerned about how they will provide food, shelter, and other basic essentials for themselves and their loved ones.
Luckily, the federal government maintains two types of disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs are designed to provide those with disabilities severe enough to prevent them from working with income assistance.
While the requirements for SSDI and SSI differ, eligibility for both programs require that the applicant has a disability that prevents them from working and is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. This is where the importance of a doctor comes in.
The Importance of a Doctor When Applying for SSD/SSI Benefits
To recap, in order to qualify for SSD benefits, you must prove that your disability:
- Prevents you from doing the work you did before;
- Prevents you from being able to adjust to other work; and
- Will last or has lasted for at least 12 months or will result in death.
In order to determine whether or not you have a disability that qualifies you for SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will determine, in the following order:
- If your condition is “severe,” meaning it interferes with working;
- If your condition is found in the adult listing of impairments (you can still qualify even if your condition is not listed); and
- If your condition is noton the list, can you do the work that you did previously? If not, can you adjust to any other type of work?
In order to prove all of the criteria above, you will need to submit a plethora of medical evidence to the SSA. If you do not have a doctor and, therefore, do not have medical evidence to submit, it may be nearly impossible to qualify for benefits.
How Your Doctor Will Help You
Your doctor can provide you with a lot of help during the process of applying for SSDI or SSI benefits. In fact, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor before applying for benefits in order to get a precise diagnose and let your doctor know that you will need evidence of your condition. As you move through the process, your doctor can be of assistance by:
- Comparing your condition with a condition found on the listing of adult impairments;
- Taking new medical tests that are recent and confirm that you are indeed suffering from the condition for which you are claiming disability benefits; and
- Providing written testimony recommending to the SSA that you become a benefit recipient.
The last element is especially important, as the SSA will likely request written statements from your treating physician and any specialists you have seen detailing your condition and the limitations that it puts on you. A good statement can be crucial in a claim approval.
Working with an Experienced Alabama SSD/SSI Attorney
In addition to keeping your doctor in the loop and working closing with your physician to obtain the evidence you need for your disability claim, you should also work with an experienced Alabama SSDI/SSI attorney. An attorney can review all elements of your application, and will know exactly what the Social Security Administration is looking for, and how to submit a claim with a high chance of approval.
To schedule your free consultation with the offices of Walton Law, LLC, we invite you to call our Alabama disability attorney today at 251-455-5819. You can also contact us online at your convenience.