Medical Opinions – How important are they to your social security disability claim?
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Medical opinions can affect your social security disability case in many ways. More importantly, the right medical opinion can turn a bad case into a successful one. A medical opinion is simply a statement, letter, or form from your doctor or provider that states their opinion on your ability or inability to work. Many times your doctor may unknowingly state their opinion on your ability to work without intending to do so. This happens most often in your actual medical records where your doctor states you cannot perform certain tasks like sitting, standing, walking or lifting heavy objects. More often, your doctor may state their opinion more formally in a letter that is requested by you or someone else for your disability claim or other claim such as a workers compensation claim. These types of formal opinions can be more helpful than a simple statement where your doctors says you cannot work. In fact, a longer and more detailed descriptive opinion is usually best.
Medical opinions are helpful, but of course, they are only helpful when you can actually get your doctor to state their opinion and state it in a favorable way. This may take some time and effort, but usually it is best to have an up front and honest discussion with your doctor before asking them to state a medical opinion for your social security disability claim. If you have any Charlotte disability attorney helping you with your disability claim, you will want to talk with them first about getting a medical opinion from your doctor as they can help draft a form or letter so that it is easier for the doctor to complete. Many times doctors are extremely busy and do not want the hassle of writing up a formal multiple page letter going over your work limitations. Instead, a fill in the blank form where the doctor can simply circle items and fill in blanks with numbers and other pertinent information is best because it may only take 5-10 minutes for the doctor to complete. Our social security disability firm has many specific forms already drafted for specific impairments such as back pain, diabetes, heart failure, stroke, mental impairments, and many others and we can further tailor each form to fit a claimant’s specific impairments.
If you are able to get your doctor to complete a medical opinion form for your social security disability case you must make sure it is signed and dated preferably by an actual doctor instead of a physicians assistant or nurse practitioner as an actual doctors opinion carries much more weight than a non medical doctors opinion. This is a common mistake when getting a medical opinion and at your disability hearing it can make a big difference.
We can see that medical opinions can be very important to your social security disability case. The important thing to remember is what type of medical opinion you need to get, how to get it completed, and what specific information needs to be on it. Remember, the more detailed the opinion the better, have a good conversation with your doctor before you ask them for an opinion, and try to get an impairment specific opinion form that is specific to your condition and have an MD sign it. If you can satisfy all these criteria, your chances for having a successful social security disability claim can improve significantly.
If you need any assistance with getting a medical opinion from your doctor for your social security disability claim please feel free to contact our law firm Bridgman Law Offices, PLLC in Charlotte, NC and we will be glad to help you in any way we can.