When you initially file for Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI or disability, you may assume your doctors will be on board. After all, they're the ones who treat your conditions, so they should understand the severity of your health problems. Unfortunately, doctors are notorious for failing to complete disability paperwork. If your doctor refuses to fill out your SSDI forms, let a disability attorney know. In the meantime, here are some steps you can take.
1) Complete All Function Reports
Disability applicants often receive a form asking about their daily function or how their condition limits them. This paperwork is incredibly important, as it provides the Social Security Administration (SSA) with insight into your level of functioning. If your doctor refuses to fill out your disability paperwork, you can fill out some function reports yourself or ask a friend or family member to help you answer the questions.
2) Gather Supporting Documentation
The SSA will also need medical records or other documentation to support your disability claim. If your doctor refuses to provide this information, you can try asking another doctor for copies of your records. You can also request records from your hospital or any other medical facility where you've been treated. Depending on where you live, you may find that medical providers must give you access to your medical records in a timely manner, even if they refuse to complete the disability paperwork itself.
3) Hire a Disability Attorney
If you're having trouble getting your doctor to complete your disability paperwork, you may need to hire a disability attorney. A lawyer can help gather the necessary evidence and documentation to support your claim. An attorney can also represent you in front of the SSA if your claim is denied.
4) Request a Hearing in Front of an Administrative Law Judge
If your disability claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. One way to do this is to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). At the hearing, you can present evidence and testimony to support your claim. If your doctor still refuses to cooperate, the ALJ may subpoena him or her to testify.
This process can be overwhelming, especially if you're battling symptoms from chronic health conditions. You may find it helpful to lean on support from a disability claims attorney during this time, as they can help during the hearing. A disability attorney can also help through other steps of the SSDI process, from filing your initial claim to appealing a denial. If you're having trouble getting your doctor to complete your disability paperwork, reach out to a local disability attorney for help.