Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

At what point should my doctor provide a letter for my disability case?

Someone recently wondered at what point a doctor should complete a medical source statement (see residual functional capacity form) months before the hearing or just right before the social security hearing.

If your treating physician will agree to complete such a statement on your behalf, it is best to try to have the form completed sometime right before the hearing. This allows the form to be viewed as current medical evidence and indicative of the claimant's true condition and their level of functionality, as expressed by their doctor.

Getting a form from a doctor too far in advance will not necessarily invalidate the information presented; however, logically, it does bring up the question in a disability adjudicator's mind: "Do these limitations currently apply to the claimant". In other words, it may "age out" the form.

Disability claimant's who are not represented prior to their social security hearing and who wish to obtain a medical source statement from their doctor may find it productive to actually take the form to their doctor's office, noting the date of the hearing and the need to receive the completed form back sometime before the hearing takes place.

Claimant's who are represented, on the other hand, will typically not have to bother with this as their disability attorney or non-attorney disability representative "should" be doing this on their own (to my mind, it would be questionable for a representative not to make such an attempt and a claimant who is represented by someone who does not attempt to procure such physician statements should perhaps consider finding other representation)

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Applying for disability, medical conditions
How long does it take to get a disability approval letter?
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How to find out if approved for disability?
Can you get Disability if you are unemployable?
Sjogren's and applying for disability
How hard is it to get on disability without being on medication?
What Happens When You File an SSI or Social Security Disability Application?
Disability requirements and how to file in Illinois
How do you Apply for SSI?
What medical conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | 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 | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Disability for a mental condition
Tips for Filing for disability
Financial Help Filing For Disability
Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
Filing a disability application: the steps
Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
What makes you eligible to get disability?
How to check my disability claim status?
Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
SSI disability Award Letter
How long to get approved for disability?
How to apply for disability benefits
How long does disability back pay take?
What are qualifications for getting disability?
What medical conditions can you file disability for?
Disability Lawyer help questions
Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives