Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

Can my doctor get me my disability benefits?

There are more than a few individuals who have the idea that when Social Security decides to approve or deny a disability claim, this decision is based on a few words from their doctor. No, it doesn’t work that way.

So, the simple answer to this question is no. Social Security uses its own criteria to establish if you are disabled. And while a disability examiner or a judge at a hearing is relying on information in a doctor’s medical records (or a hospital or clinic’s), a simple statement from a doctor will not suffice. Ultimately, what Social Security is looking for in medical records falls into one of two possible categories:

One: that you have a medical condition that meets the disability requirements of a listing in the SSA blue book.

Two: if you do not have a listing-level condition, that your condition makes it impossible to go back to your past work or do any other type of work, based on your age, limitations, education, and skills.

A claimant’s doctor will never be in the position of deciding if someone gets disability benefits. Probably, 99 percent of all doctors have no real idea how Social Security even makes it decision.

However, while your doctor does not decide if you are disabled, their opinion can be useful to your disability claim. This is usually true at a disability hearing, of course. At a hearing, the decision maker is an administrative law judge and a disability representative, often a disability attorney, is typically involved and presents a case for approval. Integral to this is usually the submission of medical source statements (which are basically residual functional capacity forms) that have been gotten from an individual’s doctor or doctors.

While some would say that disability examiners who work at the lower claim levels are trained to give weight to a treating physician’s opinion provided their records support that opinion, the honest truth is that disability examiners (who work on disability applications and reconsideration hearings) do not give much credence to the opinions of treating physicians.

Even at a disability hearing, where a medical source statement from a doctor can help win a case, your doctor cannot simply write a statement saying you are disabled. It must be shown by the records and/or a doctor’s statement, that you have specific physical and/or mental limitations that reduce the ability to do work activity.

They (your doctors) can, of course, complete a physician’s statement, i.e. medical source statement, that includes a diagnosis, medical treatment, response to medical treatment and medications, prognosis, and their opinion as to the limitations imposed upon you by your disabling conditions.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved

    FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions

    The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
    What is a Social Security Disability Denial based on?
    What Are The Reasons For Social Security Disability Cases Being Denied?
    What should be done if your disability is denied?
    Are there ways to avoid being denied for SSI or social security disability?

    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

    Do I need an attorney to win disability?
    How Long Does It Take To Go Before A Judge For Disability?
    Will a Judge give you an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?
    What happens when you go to a disability hearing?
    Social Security Disability SSI and Medical conditions
    Social Security Disability lawyer fee
    Can a lawyer or attorney speed up my disability case?
    When can I expect my first disability check and my back pay check?
    Going to a medical exam for Social Security Disability or SSI
    Filing for disability - How to file the disability application
    Do you need a lawyer to file for disability?
    How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
    Can you get temporary Social Security disability or SSI benefits?
    The Social Security Disability Award Letter
    Social Security Disability SSI Eligibility Requirements
    How Many Times Will you be denied before You Get Approved for Disability?
    What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
    How to Prove disability and qualify to win benefits
    How to speed up the disability process