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The Texas Disability Hearing and Doctor Records
Unfortunately, it is a reality that applicants for social security disability and SSI disability in Texas are sometimes put at a disadvantage by their own doctors.
Here are two examples, both of which were recently reported to me by an individual who thought for a long time about whether or not to file for disability, finally did so, was turned down, and is now waiting on a social security disability hearing.
This individual stated that one of her doctors told her (when she inquired about the possibility of the doctor submitting a statement for her case) "I don't want to get involved".
I was very irritated when I heard this, but I was not surprised. This is the same thing I have heard from several hundred claimants over a number of years. The truth is that a detailed statement from a doctor can certainly make the difference between winning or losing a disability case at a hearing. But the ugly truth about many doctors is that, when they are needed to assist on a claim for disability, they refuse to help.
Some of these doctors, of course, simply think that doctor records, i.e. their treatment notes, will be enough. However, this is not the case, largely because a doctor's treatment notes will often lack detail and lack any mention of a patient's functional limitations, caused as a result of their condition. Unfortunately, some doctors do not even bother with rationalizing why they might decline to help on a case. They simply don't want to be bothered. This, of course, is a sad commentary on their professionalism as individuals employed in "caring professions".
Because of incidents like this, I have often written that claimants should, at some point, review their own medical records, simply to get an idea of whether their doctor's records will be helpful, useless, or harmful. Also, well before a hearing, a claimant should speak with their doctor to see if the doctor will be willing to complete a supporting statement. If the doctor expresses reluctance, it may be time to consider finding another--and a more compassionate--doctor.
The individual I spoke to also mentioned that one of her doctors did not see the reason to complete a statement on behalf of her social security disability claim. He stated "I don't need to do that. They have the records from my office. That will be enough".
Some doctors like to believe this sort of thing, but will a patient's doctor records be enough? In this case, no. This individual had already reviewed her medical records with a disability attorney and had concluded that they were next to useless. They said nothing about her ongoing pain, nothing about her inability to stand for more than a few minutes, nothing about her use of a case and her trouble with walking. In short, they were of no use at all. And, that, of course, was why a statement was absolutely needed from this doctor. But, as with the other physician, he did not want to be bothered or have his time consumed.
Can a doctor help you win your case for SSD (social security disability) or SSI? Definitely. But, often, the question is whether or not your particular doctor will be willing to help you.
So, don't wait until right before your hearing. Review your medical records on your own (or with your attorney or representative) to see what they look like. And ask your doctor, point blank, if he or she will be willing to help you with your case by supplying a detailed statement explaining your condition, how it affects you, and how it limits your ability to work.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Physician Support for Your Social Security Disability Case in Texas
Why most SS Disability Claims are Denied in Texas
Getting seen by a doctor for Social Security Disability in Texas
Is it Difficult to Win Social Security Disability in Texas if you have Mental Illness?
Social Security Disability in Texas and Physicians
What is the Representation Fee for disability claim in Texas?
Who is eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI Disability in Texas?
The Texas Disability Hearing and Doctor Records
Will my doctor help me on my disability case in Texas?
How many people win Disability Benefits from Social Security in Texas?
What do I Bring to a Social Security Disability Application Interview in Texas?
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 to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
How does back pay for Social Security disability work?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Status of your social security disability or SSI case
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
What is qualifying for disability based on?
How to qualify for disability, qualifying for Benefits
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Disability application, how to file in Texas
Texas disability requirements
Eligibility and qualifying for disability in Texas
What are the qualifications for disability in Texas?
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Texas?
Getting a Texas disability lawyer, attorney, or advocate