Applying for and receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) is a long and frustrating process, and to be approved it takes a fair amount of patience and information. In all of this, though, there is nothing more important for your case than the cooperation of your primary health care provider. Considering that your case will pretty much hinge on the information and opinion submitted by your doctor, it can be an almost impossible task to get SSDI benefits if your doctor is not on board.
So, what should you do in this case? Well, there are many reasons why your doctor might disagree with your getting disability, and the reason for this denial will affect how you try to change his or her mind.
- Unclear about the process. It’s possible your doctor is hesitant simply because he or she doesn’t understand the process and his or her role in it. Often, doctors assume that this will involve them in lengthy court hearings and drown them in paperwork. In this case, you can often smooth out any objections by clearly stating that their role is very simple — usually no more than filling out an easy form — and they will not be expected to appear in court. Ever.
- Disagreement with the Disability Program. Some doctors disagree with the idea behind the disability program, thinking it’s an “entitlement” and not something deserved. While you can’t always change people’s political opinions, explaining to your doctor that this is not an entitlement program because you have been paying into the system can sometimes help them to realize what SSDI truly is.
- Disagreement About Your Disability. If your doctor doesn’t want to sign off on your disability because he or she doesn’t believe you are actually disabled, then that can be a bit of a problem. Obviously, the first goal here is to convince your doctor. Maybe they aren’t aware of the extent of your problem. Or maybe they think you are talking about something else and don’t know about some other condition you are suffering. In these cases, it’s important to make sure they completely understand your physical or mental condition. If they do, and still don’t think you qualify, then it might be time to find a different doctor.
This can be tricky, though, so be careful: if the SSA knows you have been seeing numerous physicians, this can be a very serious drawback to your case, because the SSA will most likely assume you were just doctor shopping until you found someone who would agree with you.
As always, seeking legal help is a good idea. If you would like to know more about what to do in this situation, or if you have questions about the process in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.