December 23, 2019

Will My Doctor Testify at My Social Security Disability Hearing?

Will my doctor testify at my Social Security disability hearing?  It is very rare that a treating physician will take the time to appear at your hearing.  Unless you have a personal relationship with your physician, you will probably find it very difficult to convince your doctor to attend a hearing.  I have found that some mental health professionals are more willing to come and discuss your impairments in a hearing.  I generally welcome any treating medical professional to attend the hearing in support of your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  In preparation for your hearing, I like to discuss with medical professionals the kind of questions they will be asked.  The hearings usually last less than one hour, so it is important to get testimony the Social Security Administrations (SSA) recognizes as pertinent to your claim. What can you do if your physician will not go to court with you?  You should try to get your physician to complete a Medical Source Statement.  A statement containing your diagnosis, physical limitations, mental limitations, compliance with treatment, and prognosis can help an Administrative Law Judge better understand how your disabling condition is affecting you.  You may find your physician is unwilling to complete a Medical Source Statement.  This does not mean you will lose your case.  The strength of your medical records alone can be enough for a favorable outcome.  Therefore, it is important to keep appointments, get appropriate testing, comply with treatment, and exhaust all avenues in trying to resolve your medical condition. I represent hundreds of Indiana residents every year at Social Security disability hearings and many do not have medical source statements, but still win their claims.  My office supplies our clients with forms to take to their doctors to … Continued

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November 17, 2014

Will My Doctor Be At My Social Security Disability Appeals Hearing?

It is highly unlikely  that your treating physician will attend your Social Security disability hearing.  Unless your doctor is a personal friend you can convince to attend your hearing, your doctor in almost all cases will not be there. First, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not require your doctor to attend.  Although some judges do call physicians to testify at hearings, those physicians are Medical Experts (MEs) paid by the SSA to examine your medical records and evaluate whether your condition is disabling under Social Security’s rules.  Will the ME at your hearing ever have examined you?  No.  Will this ME ever have even met you?  No.  The ME is supposed to give an impartial opinion regardless of the fact the SSA is paying him/her a fee to review the case and testify.  In my experience, there are good MEs and bad MEs, just like there are people who do a good job and people who do a bad job in any other profession.  In a perfect world, your doctor would be able to sit down with the judge and explain your impairments and how they affect you, but that’s most likely not going to happen. Second, your doctor is busy.  Even if you have a doctor who is kind and helpful, it is unrealistic to expect him or her to take time away from practicing medicine to attend your hearing. So what can you do to ensure the judge has good information from your treating physicians? Get the medical treatment you need.  Your explaining to the SSA that you have a bad back is not enough to show that you are disabled under its rules.  Social Security expects to see objective testing like x-rays or MRIs, progress notes from doctor visits, and records of medications you are taking. Make sure the SSA … Continued

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October 26, 2010

Will It Help If My Doctor Supports My Indiana Social Security Disability Benefits Claim?

Indianapolis Social Security Disability Lawyer Scott D. Lewis encourages his Social Security disability clients to try to have a good relationship with their treating physician(s).  Generally speaking, it is usually very helpful to have your physicians on your side.  When it comes down to “crunch time” and the Social Security Administration (SSA) is looking for certain medical documents to support your Indiana disability claim, a helpful physician, psychiatrist, or therapist may be just what you need. Indiana Social Security appeals claimants may wonder how their doctor can help their disability claim.  There are a number of ways they may help: 1.  Medical specialists who keep detailed records including progress reports, test results, and the prognosis of your disabling condition, may play an important role in receiving a favorable outcome on your Social Security disability claim. 2.  Indianapolis Social Security Disability Attorney Scott Lewis often asks the treating physicians to complete questionnaires concerning your disabling condition.  Many times, these questionnaires can help pinpoint your disability so that an Indiana Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) can more easily find that you suffer from a disabling condition that prevents you from working. 3.  Your treating physician can provide letters detailing your disability and provide information as to the intensity, duration, and disabling effects of your impairment.  These letters can also provide information regarding the physician’s opinion as to whether you are able to work or not. In Indianapolis disability attorney Scott Lewis’ experience the  Social Security Administration  and Indiana Social Security Appeals Judges usually want to see medical records from physicians that specialize in the area that you are claiming disability.  For instance, a General Practitioner who has diagnosed you with Bipolar disorder usually does not carry as much weight as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist that specializes in that particular area. The past experiences of Social Security disability attorney Scott Lewis have taught him while a General Practitioner’s medical records are good, a specialist’s … Continued

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