When you’re thinking about filing for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), one of the smartest things you can do to help your claim succeed is to get your doctor’s support.
That’s not always easy to do. Here are three tips that can help:
Assume that you’re going to get better with treatment.
Unless you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury or are suffering from a fatal illness, start your journey with your doctor by assuming that there’s a workable treatment for your condition and that you’ll eventually manage your condition well enough to return to work. In other words, give your doctor a chance to do what they do best and make you well again — before you file for benefits.
Don’t bring up your disability application on the first visit.
Doctors tend to be suspicious of patients who discuss disability benefits right off the bat. If you’re aiming to get well, your focus should initially be on treatment — not your claim. Give your doctor (even a specialist) a few months to better understand your condition, to see how you respond (or not) to treatment and a chance to get to know you.
Don’t assume that your doctor understands the government’s rules.
Doctors are medical experts — not “disability experts.” Some think that in order to qualify for SSDI, you have to be completely bedridden or terminal. You need to approach the conversation by explaining why you are currently unable to work, how you anticipate that remaining the same for the foreseeable future and ask if they agree. (“Do you think I am disabled?” is too broad and likely not to produce the answer you’re hoping to hear.)
Getting your SSDI claim approved isn’t likely to be easy, but a clear strategy for your claim can help. Find out how an experienced attorney can assist you.