Can your doctor get you approved for Social Security Disability or SSI?

I just found this statement written in a forum post: "My doctor is going to try and get me on Social Security Disability".

This, of course, begs at least a couple of questions, which are "What role does your doctor play in the Social Security Disability process?" and "Can your doctor actually get you approved for disability?".


1. Does Your Doctor Decide If You Get Disability Benefits?
2. If my doctor says I am disabled, is there a waiting period?
3. Supportive doctor statement for a disability case
4. Why Will You be Sent to a Social Security Doctor for your disability case?

Both these questions can be addressed in this way. Your personal doctor or treating physician has no direct influence on the outcome of a Social Security Disability or SSI disability claim. That decision is left completely up to the adjudicator.

If your claim for benefits is at the initial claim level (the application level) or the first appeal level (known as the reconsideration or review), then that decision will be made by a disability examiner. If your disability claim is at the disability hearing level, that decision will be made by an administrative law judge.

So, what input will your doctor provide on your disability claim? Actually, this is limited to two aspects. Your doctor can provide medical records if those records are requested by the social security administration (i.e. a disability examiner or a disability judge). Your doctor can also provide a detailed statement that supports your claim for disability. If your doctor does this, of course, the statement he or she provides should focus on indicating your level of functional restriction. In other words, how does your condition limit your ability to perform daily activities and to work.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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