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Social Security Disability Benefits - Doctor's Support
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Hello again!

This article will examine what is really meant by "doctor's support" when it comes to getting approved for Social Security Disability.

On the initial application, you will be asked for a list of doctors treating you. Of course, you will want to approach each of them to see if they will support your claim. When you do this, most will respond by saying "Sure. I would be happy to send copies of your records."

But, is simply sending copies of your medical records enough? Well, yes....and no. When doctors say they will forward your medical documentation, they are really saying they will submit proof of your diagnosis. In a previous article, I stated that your diagnosis is actually secondary; what really matters are the severity of your symptoms.

As an example, fibromyalgia is a debilitating illness that many people are claiming disability for. The issue is that "fibromyalgia" is not recognized by Social Security as an official diagnosis. However, people suffering from it legitimately cite severe pain, fatigue, and soreness as severe symptoms that impair their ability to work.

So, "doctor's support" actually means "confirm the claimant's symptoms and how they relate to severe work impairment". If at least one medical provider cannot submit a detailed rendering of how your symptoms impact your maintaining full-time employment, your chances of an approval are reduced dramatically.

For someone suffering from fibromyalgia, a convincing doctor's statement might go something like this: "My patient experiences severe joint pain, chronic fatigue, and an inability to get a full night's sleep. Due to these symptoms, Mr. X is unable to stand and walk more than 1 hour without needing to rest. He also cannot sit for more than an hour without experiencing soreness in his arms and hands. He needs to get up and stretch for approximately 15 minutes."

For a person dealing with mental illness, such a statement would sound like this: "Ms. X has struggled with anxiety and depression for many years. Because of anxiety attacks and an inability to deal with job stress, she has not been able to maintain employment for more than one year at a time for the last 5 years. Consequently, she displays a reluctance to go on job interviews, out of intense fear that her perceived inadequacies will be found out. She is prescribed anxiety and depression medication that has, as side effects, drowsiness and poor memory."

Quite a bit different from simply sending medical records, isn't it? Remember that applying for disability benefits is all about how your symptoms impact you on the job; your diagnosis simply puts a name to those symptoms.


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