February 20, 2011

A Few Thoughts About Doctors Not Supporting Your Indiana Social Security Disability Appeal

Social Security disability attorney Scott Lewis has seen doctors that will go to great lengths (usually short of going to your hearing of course) and doctors who refuse to help at all, and everything in between.  So what can you do when your treating physician will not support you in your Indiana Social Security disability appeal? It probably depends on why they will not support you.  There can be a variety of reasons why your doctor won’t support your disability claim.  Perhaps you simply do not get along with your doctor, or your doctor does not believe your disability prevents you from working, or finally maybe your doctor says he/she will help you, but will not assist you with your disability claim when push comes to shove.  In Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott Lewis’ experience, a cooperative treating physician can have a huge impact on you receiving a favorable outcome in your Social Security disability claim.

So what can you do when your physician is not willing to help you?  It may depend on your health care coverage.  You may be limited on who you can see pursuant to your medical coverage.  It may help you to discuss your concerns with your treating physician.  Indiana disability lawyer Scott Lewis encourages his clients to try and have a good relationship with their doctor(s).  It is important to remember that physicians are people too and have likes and dislikes like all of us, and it makes sense if they like you they may be willing to go that extra mile for you in helping to establish your disability and your inability to hold down a full time job.

Some Indiana disability claimants have the option of switching physicians when they are unhappy with their treating physician.  One of the problems Indianapolis disability attorney Scott Lewis has experienced with claimants switching physicians is the amount of time the claimant is under a new supportive physician’s care.  At times, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may put more stock in medical records where a physician has treated you for an extended period of time compared to a physician who has only seen you for a short time. This is not to say you cannot win your Indiana Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim with short term relationships with your physicians, but it may be more difficult.

It can be very helpful to let your treating physician know how your disabling condition is affecting you in everyday life. This can include your pain levels, inability to sit, stand, walk, lift, or even concentrate.  Again, a good supportive physician may detail this information in your medical records, while a non supportive physician may elect to not note any of these issues.  When asked, disability lawyer Scott Lewis tells his clients to let their physician(s) know they are attempting to get Social Security disability payments in hopes these supportive treating physicians may know what standards must be met to be qualified for Social Security disability benefits.

The use of medical provider questionnaires and physical/mental residual functional capacity assessments may also help you in your Indiana Social Security disability claim.  If you are lucky enough to have a caring thoughtful physician that will complete these forms completely and accurately it can go a long way in establishing your disabling condition(s).  On the other hand, some physicians simply refuse to complete these forms for whatever reason.  Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer Scott Lewis attempts to have his clients take these forms into their physician’s office in person, so that the direct contact with the disability claimant may make it more difficult for the treating physician to say “no” to completing the forms.

The preceding information is not intended as legal advice and is only the experience of Mr. Lewis in his practice of Social Security disability law.

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