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How do you ask your doctor about SSDI benefits?

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2023 | Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) |

Are you waiting for your doctor to put you on “disability?” A lot of people who have serious medical issues spend an agonizing amount of time waiting for their primary care physicians or a specialist they see to tell them they need to file a disability claim – and it’s unlikely to ever happen.

The reality is that your doctor has no authority to get you Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, and most doctors are hesitant to even bring up the subject because they don’t even know how the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a disability. Nor is your physician a vocational expert, so they may not have any real idea what your job involves.

In fact, most doctors seem to take the approach that when a patient believes they are too disabled to work, that patient will tell them (not the other way around). So how do you have that conversation?

Tips for a productive conversation with your physician

Call your doctor’s office and schedule an appointment specifically to discuss your SSDI application. That way, you don’t have to try to squeeze in a request for support at the end of a regular visit. Here are some further tips:

  • Be prepared: Think about what you want to say and how to say it. Write down a few notes so that you don’t skip anything important.
  • Explain your situation: Clearly explain your medical condition’s impact on your daily life and your limitations. Discuss how your condition prevents you from working and why you have decided to file for SSDI.
  • Ask for support: Directly request your doctor’s support for your SSDI claim, and find out if they are willing to provide a detailed medical opinion and complete the necessary forms on your behalf.

If your doctor is unwilling to support your application, consider seeking a second opinion from another health care professional who may be more willing to provide the necessary documentation.

Remember that while your doctor’s support is valuable, it does not guarantee approval for SSDI. The SSA will still evaluate your application based on its own criteria. Legal guidance on the application process can increase your chances of approval.