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

Letters from doctors for Social Security Disability

Letters from doctors that simply state "My patient is disabled and unable to work" have little value in the eyes of a disability examiner or a federal judge. The social security disability system focuses on a claimant's remaining ability to work, despite their condition, and looks to compare objective evidence regarding a claimant's functionality against the demands of their past work and other types of work they may potentially be suited for.

For this reason, an assessment of a claimant's functionality and limitations by a treating physician can be vital. This is particularly the case at the disability hearing level.

Should a physician submit a supporting statement prior to the disability hearing level In some cases, this type of statement may be instrumental in winning a case at the intial claim and reconsideration levels.

However, state disability processing agencies (where disability examiners decide claims for the social security administration) often do not give credence to the opinion of a treating physician, choosing instead to adopt the opinion of an agency unit physician (employed by social security) who has never treated the claimant, or the opinion of an independent consultative medical examiner (a physician who has performed an outside exam, lasting, perhaps, 10 minutes on average, and who, once again, has no history of treatment with the claimant).

At the disability hearing level, however, attitudes toward statements provided by treating physicians are often remarkably different. And such a statement can certainly win a disability case, as long as the statement is in line with the physician's history of treatment with the claimant.

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

Related pages:

A "proper" statement from your doctor can have a dramatic effect on your disability case
Should you get a Statement from a Personal Physician for your SSD or SSI Disability Case?
Will my doctor charge me for a letter for my social security disability claim?
Will Social Security Attempt To Get A Letter From Your Doctor To Help Your Case?
Letters from doctors for Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability Doctor, Supportive Statements

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

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria