Do I Need a Doctor to Get Social Security Disability Income in Arkansas?
If you have a condition that substantially prevents your ability to work for an income in Arkansas, you can apply for the federal government’s Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) program. In your application, you will have to substantiate your claim that your condition is real and hinders your ability to perform the functions of your job.
To do this, you will likely need to provide your medical records of your treatment and diagnosis from your doctor. Your doctor cannot decide on their own that you qualify, but their assessment provides the basis upon which the Social Security Administration (SSA) makes their decision about your application. In some cases, the government may request that you submit to an additional special medical examination, even if you already submitted medical records.
Our Arkansas disability lawyers can help with preparing your SSDI application. To find out more through a free initial case assessment, contact us at our offices at (479) 316-0438.
How Does Your Doctor Impact Your Application for Social Security Disability Benefits in Arkansas?
To get disability benefits in Arkansas, you will need to apply for SSDI through the federal government. This is a separate process than getting evaluation and treatment for your condition. No matter what condition you have, your doctor cannot write you a prescription for government benefits. Ultimately, the decision of whether your condition qualifies as a “disability” for the purpose of SSDI coverage is made by the Social Security Administration, not your doctor. However, getting medical assessment for your condition is a necessary step if you hope to qualify for SSDI.
When your doctor evaluates your condition and creates a treatment plan, they create a medical record of your condition that you can use to justify your need for SSDI. When you apply for SSDI coverage, you should attach a statement from your doctor about your prognosis and how it affects your abilities. There are forms your doctor can fill out from the SSA that detail how your condition specifically affects your activities of daily living (ADLs).
Can the Government Force You to See a Doctor Before Putting You on Disability Benefits in Arkansas?
On occasion, the government may return your application for SSDI coverage with a request that you seek a medical review from a medical professional to determine the extent of your condition. If you want your application to succeed, you will have to comply with this special medical examination request.
The SSA may request that you get another medical evaluation even if you submitted evidence of your own doctor’s assessment. In these cases, this often means that the government does not currently have enough information about your condition to make a determination.
The government may indicate a specific doctor or medical care provider in their request. For special medical examinations, the government covers your fees, even if your application is ultimately rejected.
How Does a Doctor’s Assessment Help Qualify You for Social Security Disability Income in Arkansas?
Conditions that affect SSDI applicants are as varied as the applicants themselves. The decisions about which conditions deserve SSDI coverage are made by humans who evaluate a number of considerations. Therefore, it is difficult to predict every application’s outcome with certainty without additional information. However, what we do know is how the SSA uses a doctor’s assessment of an applicant’s condition to determine whether to grant SSDI coverage.
Doctor’s Diagnosis of Condition
To start, your doctor’s diagnosis must typically fit within one of the listed medical conditions that the SSDI covers. The government’s full list of conditions that might receive coverage is extensive and general enough to allow for a number of different, lesser-known conditions to meet the criteria.
Some common disabilities that are accepted for SSDI purposes may include those that affect a person’s cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, sensory, or musculoskeletal systems. Immune system disorders such as Lupus and HIV are also recognized disabilities. Any condition that deprives you of the use of a limb or a sense (e.g., sight or hearing) will qualify for consideration. Many mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and schizophrenia, will also qualify, but for these psychology-specific conditions, you may need the evaluation of a medical care provider that specializes in these areas to succeed with your application.
If your doctor’s diagnosis fits within one of these categories, that is a good sign that you are on the way to obtaining SSDI coverage. If your doctor does not confirm that your condition is one of those accepted for the purposes of SSDI applications, you have the ability to seek out a second opinion.
Severity of Condition
Just because you are suffering from a condition that meets one of the above acceptable categories does not mean that you will automatically qualify to receive SSDI benefits. Your doctor’s assessment must also confirm that your condition affects you so substantially that it prevents you from working for a supportive income.
While your doctor cannot say specifically that your condition calls for SSDI coverage, they can explain the ways in which the severity of your condition affects your ability to work in your chosen field. Remember, just because you can work some jobs does not mean that your condition doesn’t prevent you from working the jobs that you are qualified to do or have experience doing. As an example, the doctor for a bus driver that suffers loss of vision due to glaucoma can explain how their ability to work that job is hindered based on their inability to drive. Doctors can also explain how a patient’s heavy treatment regimen takes up too much time for the patient to satisfy the time requirements of a full-time job.
Ken Kieklak Can Help You Get Disability Benefits in Arkansas
If your injuries are serious, you deserve serious legal care. Call our experienced Farmington, AR disability lawyers for help with your SSDI application today at (479) 316-0438.
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