Questions for Your Treating Doctor About Your Disability Claim

Questions for Your Treating Doctor About Your Disability Claim

Phoenix Social Security Disability Lawyer - Doctor and patientIt’s common for the primary doctor of a disability claimant to play some role in their application for disability benefits. Sometimes the doctor is asked by the claimant’s Phoenix Social Security disability lawyer for a medical opinion or to verify the claimant’s statements regarding his or her ability to work. Oftentimes, the doctor is unsure of how to answer these questions and does not want to say the wrong thing. Here are some common questions doctors have for a Phoenix Social Security disability lawyer regarding disability.

Should My Doctor Refer Me to a Functional Capacity Evaluation?

Your Phoenix Social Security disability attorney will probably answer no. Functional capacity evaluations cannot reliably answer the core question at the center of your disability claim, namely: What is your capacity to do sustained work activities for an entire workday, five days a week, for fifty weeks a year? For most cases handled by a Phoenix Social Security disability lawyer, especially those involving a claimant under age 50, the issue can more specifically be boiled down to whether a claimant can perform an easy sedentary job such as an office job. In other words, can the claimant sit for six hours a day and occasionally lift ten pounds?

Functional capacity evaluations, as your Phoenix Social Security disability attorney will tell you, usually assert that the claimant can do sedentary work by default, even when work at higher levels of exertion have been ruled out. This makes the functional capacity evaluation effectively useless for many disability claims as it does not test the core question of whether the claimant can do sedentary work. To determine the answer to that question, your Phoenix Social Security disability lawyer will need to consult other sources.

Does My Doctor Need Special Expertise to Estimate My Physical Capacity?

Your Phoenix Social Security disability lawyer will most likely answer no. The Social Security Administration does not require a treating doctor to have special expertise in order to provide an opinion about his or her patient. As long as the doctor has developed a longitudinal perspective on the patient’s impairment, his or her opinion can be submitted by your Phoenix Social Security disability attorney and will be noted by the SSA in evaluating your claim. Your Phoenix Social Security disability lawyer will tell you that the opinion of a doctor who has been treating you for a long time will have a more useful opinion for your claim than a specialist who only saw you once or twice.

Contact A Phoenix Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you have more questions about your disability claim, contact a Phoenix Social Security disability lawyer at Schiffman Law Office, P.C. Call (602) 235-0539.

2014-03-18T10:14:53-07:00 March 18th, 2014|Arizona Attorney, Uncategorized|