Common Concerns about SSA Disability Forms – Answers to Doctors’ Questions

What if I inadvertently say the wrong thing and harm my patient’s Social Security disability case?

This is a common concern amongst physicians, as there is a widespread misconception that unless a patient is virtually bedridden, he or she will not be found disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Although this is more myth than fact, it is a good idea to contact your patient’s attorney to discuss any concerns you may have.

Should I exaggerate my patient’s disability in order to increase their chances of being found disabled?

No. There is nothing that discredits a doctor’s testimony faster that obvious exaggeration, so you should generally err on the conservative side when describing your patient’s degree of disability. SSA will disregard a doctor’s opinion that it believes to be unreliable.

Should I still fill out the form if I believe my patient could sustain work at a regular full-time job, or would this be a case of charging for a service that is of no use to them?

If you have any questions about this, it is wise to first contact the patient’s attorney. The answer will often depend upon the claimant’s age and his or her attorney’s theory of the case. Some claimants can still be found disabled despite their capacity for performing a surprising number of jobs. There are also situations where the claimant’s attorney wants to document the impact of a few physical limitations in combination with a mental impairment to establish eligibility.

If you are concerned about avoiding the potential pitfalls involved in completing an SSA disability form in behalf of your patient, or if you have a patient who you believe would benefit from experienced legal representation, do not hesitate to contact Roger S. Hutchison, the Chicago Disability benefits attorney.