If you are applying for disability benefits or are appealing a denial of your claim, our experienced Fayetteville Social Security disability attorney Ken Kieklak could provide you valuable assistance. However, in many cases, your claim will be decided one way or the other based on the medical evidence that you provide. Part of that evidence is a detailed statement from your doctor. The following article from our Fayetteville, AR disability lawyer discusses how you should talk with your doctor and what information the statement, or letter, should include.
The Importance of a Disability Letter from a Doctor in Arkansas
It is crucial to understand that a letter from your doctor or another medical professional will have no noticeable impact on your Social Security disability case unless the letter is convincing and contains specific information regarding your condition. Many physicians’ letters are quickly written and include nothing more than your doctor’s opinion that you are disabled. Without details, the letter will not influence an administrative law judge or other Social Security agent.
A letter for a Social Security benefits case should be a medical source statement. This statement is more than just a letter. It is a detailed statement from a medical professional who has intimate knowledge of your medical condition and the problems you face. If drafted correctly, a medical source statement could have a significant impact in helping our Greenland, AR disability attorney fight for the benefits you deserve.
Steps to Get a Medical Source Statement from Your Arkansas Doctor
The first thing you need to do is talk with your doctor. However, you need to understand what you want before having any conversation. If you are unclear or do not provide your doctor with a clear message, they might not know what you need.
Tell your doctor precisely why you need the letter. It is important to state that you are seeking disability benefits or are appealing a decision. Be sure to tell your doctor about how your medical condition impacts your ability to work and engage in everyday activities. Your doctor can treat your symptoms and diagnose your condition, but only you know how your condition is affecting your life.
Your doctor’s opinion is of vital importance as well. Be sure to ask if your doctor believes your condition prevents you from working. In the end, the medical source statement will reflect your doctor’s professional and knowledgeable opinion concerning your medical condition. This type of detailed statement is what will help our Benton County disability attorney build a case for the benefits you deserve.
If you have multiple doctors, you should speak with all of them. You never know who will write the most convincing letter. Additionally, several physicians who share a similar opinion about your condition’s effects will have a more significant influence than just one doctor.
What Should Be Included in Your Doctor’s Letter if You Are Seeking Social Security Disability Benefits in Arkansas?
As stated above, the letter from your doctor should include more than “I believe my patient is disabled.” Your physician should expressly state what your mental and physical capacity is according to their experienced opinion. Furthermore, the letter should detail what physical and mental limitations you face because of your medical condition. Doctors are trained to treat sick people, not write detailed medical source statements. Therefore, it is crucial that you let your doctor know what should be included in the letter.
Our Fort Smith, AR disability attorney will want the letter to contain clear and precise medical evidence that objectively relates to your condition and limitations. It should begin with an overview of your medical condition, diagnosis, treatment, and also include your medical history.
Your doctor should be specific, for example, stating that your ability to stand or sit is compromised, you are unable to lift a stated weight amount, or your ability to remember details is limited. A statement that you are merely disabled will not be sufficient.
The letter should also explain how the medical evidence provided relates to your disability. Remember, this will not be read by a medical expert and the language, while detailed, should be understandable and clear. For example, if you are unable to sit for an extended period because of a degenerative disc, then your doctor should be clear about the reason and provide supporting documentation, such as an MRI or X-ray.
While this might not sound important, the signature on the statement should be from your doctor. Without an MD or other medical accreditation, the letter will not of much value. You should also ensure you are getting the letter from the appropriate type of doctor, for example, a psychiatrist, if your condition affects your mental health.
There are sample letters available online that might help guide your physician in the right direction. Medical evidence and documentation are essential tools for our Arkansas Social Security disability attorney. Without sufficient medical evidence, the chances of your benefits claim being approved or your appeal sustained significantly decrease.
Call Our Arkansas Disability Attorney for a Free Consultation
Applying for disability benefits in Arkansas or appealing a denied claim can be complicated and time-consuming. Any small error or omission could adversely affect your chances for success. Having an experienced Arkansas Socia Security disability attorney assisting you could be very helpful. However, what is more important is the quality of the medical evidence you present. Part of that evidence is a well-drafted and detailed medical source statement from one or more of your treating physicians. Our office will work with you to help ensure the statement includes the necessary information. If you are applying for Social Security benefits or are appealing a denied claim, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law at (479) 316-0438 for a free consultation.
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