If you're applying for disability to Social Security Administration (SSA), you'll need your doctor's statement showing that you have been in fact unable to work for the last 12 months or more. You can take help from your doctor through getting them to fill the 'medical source statement'. While the SSA will at most times require a doctor's statement, a medical source may also include clinic, caretaker, or healthcare provider.
Why your doctor's statement matters so much in your SSDI claim?
A doctor may help fill up important information regarding your health status. Hence, your doctor would be the source behind the information required by your disability examiner such as the nature, extent, severity and the expected duration of your disability condition.
Your doctor/physician will help the disability examiner to analyze how 'serious' is your disability pertaining to your condition. They can file in statements explaining how your disability impacts your daily functioning, how you may respond to any prescribed treatments and how your disability prevents you from performing daily activities under substantial gainful activity, SGA
What Your Doctor Must Include In A Good Medical Source Statement?
A good doctor's statement must contain all of the following:
List Your Diagnosed Medical Condition
In accordance with the Social Security Administration's guidelines a good doctor's statement must state clearly the medical condition (impairment) by a licensed doctor/physician/psychiatrist depending on your condition.
If your medical records are not comprehensive or lengthy, submitting your doctor's statement will show exactly what medical conditions you have been diagnosed with. Moreover, your doctor can explain in detail what symptoms and limitations you may experience due to your condition, at present, in past and even possibly in the future. Please remember that any failure to properly convince the SSA of your impairment could lead to a 'future disability appeal'. Hence, it is pertinent that you document all of your life's medical conditions.
State Whether You Directly or Indirectly Meet a Disability Listing
The SSA Blue Book of Impairments has all the conditions that are eligible for disability benefits. A good doctor's medical statement will clearly state whether you meet any of the disability listing in the Blue Book directly or indirectly. This will greatly add to your chances of getting your SSDI benefits approved.
An Opinion Stating Your Residual Functional Capacity
Your functional limitations are the list of symptoms appearing with your impairment or disability, considered severe enough to prevent you from performing substantial gainful activity (SGA).
The SSA will look at your functional limitations by looking at the following:
- Ability to sit/stand for a long period of time
- Ability to bend or pick up heavy weights
- Any visionary or hearing loss
- Ability to reach for objects
- Ability to grasp objects
- Mental impairments
*Side Effects From Prescribed Medications
In cases where you're not taking your prescribed medications, it is necessary that your doctor shows that explicitly in your medical record to your disability examiner. If you have serious side effects, you may be unable to perform the medical demands of work and might have trouble completing tasks under the deadline.
Doctor's Statements Must Be Based On Medical Records
** Please remember the doctor's opinion should be based on medical records and documented history. The SSA will review all of your medical documented history and check to see if it is inconsistent with the doctor's medical notes and his opinion of whether you are disabled permanently or temporarily. For instance, if your doctor's statement indicates that you could not lift semi heavy objects, but all of your medical documentation shows otherwise, then the SSA would reject your doctor's statement.
Generally, your disability examiner may sometimes request additional tests such as MRI, CT Scans, ECG, ETT, etc to determine whether they match with your doctor's statements and previous medical records.
If you have any questions or need help regarding your doctor filling in your medical source document, then you may contact us at Law Office of Irene Ruzin.