DOCTORS: Should I help my patient with her SSD case?

doctor helpWhy should I help my patient with her Social Security Disability case?

Some doctors and therapists are hesitant to play any part in a patient’s legal case.  This is understandable because…

In cases involving litigation:

  1. if a doctor completes a report for a case, he or she may end up in trial,
  2. if a doctor ends up in trial, he or she is most likely going to be in direct confrontation with another expert who will claim that the doctor is wrong,
  3. the doctor will probably be deposed by an attorney who can be less than friendly, or
  4. the doctor may be concerned that he or she could carry some liability for the medical opinion.

*YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ANY OF THIS in a Social Security disability case.  This is NOT LITIGATION! *

In cases involving Social Security:

  1. You will never be called to testify (though you certainly can testify, if you want to);
  2. Because you are a “treating physician,” your opinion carries controlling weight with the administrative law judge that decides your patient’s case; and
  3. Your opinion letter or Medical Source Statement will help the judge determine whether your patient has a “medically determinable impairment” and what level of “residual functional capacity” they possess.  You do NOT need to determine your patient’s residual functional capacity – that is for the judge to do.
  4. The judge makes this determination based upon your input.

The main thing to remember is that your patient needs your help to win and you can make a big difference in their case in many ways.

Does your patient need help applying for Social Security Disability?

If your patient is disabled and needs help navigating the Social Security Disability system.   Have him or her Contact Deborah at The Hardin Law Firm, PLC, to help with the SSD appeal. 

ATTORNEY: Learn more about our Attorneys and Staff.

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this website is intended to convey general information. It should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. It is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Originally published: April 21, 2015 at

 Last updated: February 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm