Many individuals filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits in Texas think that getting a letter from their doctor explaining their disabilities will insure an approved claim.
While the idea is sound, letters from your treating physician can be written in a way that will do nothing to help your case.
Without proper guidance, a doctor’s letter may:
- Be too brief and lack the detail necessary for the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to understand the situation.
- Miss the mark on explaining your physical or mental capacity and how that directly relates to workplace performance.
- Never even show up! Many doctors forget or ignore requests for letters of this nature.
What can I do instead?
Instead of relying on your doctor’s promise to write a letter, you can request that your doctor complete a Medical Source Statement. A Medical Source Statement is an objective and throughly documented assessment of your mental or physical health that explains your limitations and the reasons behind them. The statement is supported with medical evidence, such as test results and imaging.
As long as there is no viable reason to doubt a statement of this nature, the judge must assume it is accurate.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a format for the doctor to follow in providing a statement called the RFC (Residual Functional Capacity) form. It’s possible that your doctor may ask for a small fee to complete the form, but the support it provides is almost always worth it.
If you have any questions about getting an official statement from your doctor or any other aspect of the disability claims process, get in touch with a skilled Dallas Social Security Disability lawyer. Call us at 800-800-6353or fill out the contact form above today.
And be sure to ask for a copy of Morgan & Weisbrod’s FREE book, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.