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Can A Doctor Put You On Disability

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How to Educate Your Doctor About Social Security Disability

When you take advantage of your short-term disability benefit, your time off is paidbut that doesnt necessarily mean youll be getting your full paycheck.

The amount youll earn is dependent on your specific plan. Some plans offer full salary replacement, but most dont. Instead, they offer a percentage of compensation with a dollar amount cap.

There are also programs that award you different amounts based on your longevity with the company, says McDonald. If you are there for 10 years and have a 26-week disability period, you might get three months at 100% and then three months at 50%.

If you live in one of the five states where short-term disability benefits are mandated, then the amount youll be compensated will be regulated as well.

What Are Your Options If Your Short

The first thing to do is to carefully read the correspondence thats saying its not being approved, advises Bartolic. That will tell the person a lot, and will tell them what to do if they disagree with the decision.

Most disability plans in America are covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act , which means claims are reviewed through the lens of this federal law.

If your plan is covered by ERISA, the law requires that the denied individual be presented with a right to appeal that decision. Its a mandatory feature of it, explains McDonald. That period of appeal is 180 days. During that time, you have perhaps your single best opportunity to give evidence to the insurer or plan administrator about why theyre wrong and why youre entitled to those benefits.

If you go through the appeal process and still are unable to convince them of your disability, then unfortunately youll have to initiate a lawsuit.

Our Attorneys Can Help With Your Mental Disability Claim

If you or a loved one are unable to work due to mental health issues, trust your case to a disability lawyer with a record of success, professional responsibility, and compassion. We are mindful of each clients clinical well-being.

Whether you are filing an initial claim, or have already been denied benefits, we can help.

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    Understanding The Role Your Medical Evidence Plays In Getting Disability Benefits

    Your medical records and other evidence play a central role in getting approval with any type of qualifying impairment. The disability examiner who oversees your case will need to look at your doctors notes, test results, treatment plan, treatment results, and other information about your condition. This allows them to judge the severity of your condition and see that it prevents you from working and keeping a job.

    Since your medical evidence is the only way the Social Security Administration can determine if you meet the qualifications for disability benefits, it is important to ensure they have access to your records at every doctor, clinic, and hospital that treated you.

    When you apply for disability, you will have to give the SSA a list of contact information, so they can request your records. This includes:

    • Doctor or hospital name
    • E-mail
    • Patient ID, when possible

    If you have Berger and Green working your case, we can help you gather this information and ensure it is correct on your application. Without this contact information, the disability examiner will not have access to your diagnosis, any test results, treatment plan and outcome, and information about your medication.

    For a free legal consultation, call

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    Tip #: Begin Every Doctor/patient Relationship Believing You Will Return To Work After Treatment

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    The fastest way to turn any doctor off is to tell them on your first or second visit that you have filed a disability claim and need their support.; At the FAME conference, doctors repeatedly told me they dont want to treat a patient who is more interested in obtaining disability benefits than treatment. Why?; Because a doctors main goal is to treat a patient and restore health.; If the patient is more interested in legal issues the doctor will be very reluctant to support your claim.; If a treatment plan does not work, the doctor will likely conclude that it didnt because you never gave it a chance due to other considerations.

    The bottom line is you need to give your doctors treatment regimen sufficient time and effort to work.; This may include several treatment regimens over a period of time if one or more fail.; By following everything your doctor prescribes, you will gain their support because your condition has not improved in spite of their best efforts.

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    Your Doctor’s Detailed Opinion Of Your Impairments And Limitations Are Key In Your Social Security Disability Claim

    By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author

    The Social Security Administration relies on doctor’s records and medical evidence to determine whether you are disabled. Although the SSA will request records from the list of providers you have given them, it is your responsibility to ensure that the agency has received all of your pertinent medical records, and that your doctor has provided the information in a helpful way. Submitting accurate and complete information from the doctor who treats you for your impairment is vital to winning your claim.

    If Your Doctor Is Reluctant To Help Find Out Why And Address His Or Her Concerns

    By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author

    After you apply for Social Security disability, you will need to submit a residual functional capacity assessment that has been prepared by one of your doctors . An RFC is a detailed report that discusses the limitations you have because of your condition, and how the limitations affect your ability to do certain work-related activities.

    Unfortunately, some doctors are unwilling to help their patients by completing an RFC form; this can make it difficult for a claimant to be approved. However, you may be able to convince your doctor to help you, depending on the reason for his or her reluctance.

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    Educate Your Doctor About Your Disability Problem

    Let the doctor know you’ll be applying for Social Security disability, but don’t assume your doctor understands the Social Security disability process, which is a complex system. It takes other doctors working for Social Security years to fully understand federal medical policies. It is important to explain to the doctor that you are not requesting an opinion about whether you are disabled. This will be good news to your doctor, who is probably tired of receiving blame from patients about their disability claims sometimes being denied.

    You could say something like, “I know you don’t control the government’s disability decisions and I don’t even know if I qualify for disability. However, I need your help in getting accurate information to them so that I can receive a fair evaluation.” You will almost certainly receive a positive response to this statement. And then you can tell the doctor about how your impairments affect you.

    How Much Time Off Do You Get With Short

    What To Do If Your Doctor Wont Fill Out The Disability Insurance Forms Attorney John V. Tucker

    While I might sound like a broken record, a concern like, How long is short-term disability? is another aspect that can vary depending on your own plan.

    By definition, its short-term, but it can range in duration. Ive seen be as short as 30 days and as long as one year, Bartolic says, pointing to the maximum covered benefit periods hes seen in his own practice. It depends on the overall structure of the disability benefits through the employer.

    Your time off also depends on your specific health problem. The medical field has guidelines as to how long recovery should take, explains Bartolic. That provides a roadmap for your employer or plan provider to establish a reasonable amount of time for you to be out of work.

    What if things are really serious and youre not looking at a few weeks or even months away from the jobbut much longer? That would fall under a long-term disability benefit, if your employer offers such a thing.

    As the names imply, short-term disability is used to cover injuries or illnesses that persist for a shorter amount of time . In contrast, long-term disability comes into play for any issues that will take you out of work for longer than that.

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    What Kinds Of Disability Programs Are Available In Arkansas

    For most people across the country, using the name disability when referring to a benefits program refers to the Social Security Administrations disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income .; SSDI is a program for workers to get benefits if they develop a condition that keeps them from being able to continue working.; SSI is a need-based program for children and people without a work history to get benefits.; These two programs accept applications through very similar processes and are often referred to collectively as disability.

    Other disability programs exist, including long-term and short-term disability insurance programs offered by some employers.; Talk to your employer about who manages these other programs and how to apply.

    Exams Will Vary By Doctor But It’s Generally A Good Idea To Be Wary During A Medical Exam For Social Security

    Updated By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney

    What is usually meant by “Social Security disability doctor” is a doctor who is hired to do a consultative exam for Social Security. These doctors are not employees of the Social Security Administration, but independent doctors in private practice who are trying to make a bit of extra money. Should you trust this consulting doctor? The answer is no. As a former disability examiner, I have been on the receiving end in multiple capacities. First, I have heard many hundreds of complaints voiced by claimants as to how they were treated by the doctor who conducted their exam .

    Second, I have read hundreds of consultative exam reports written by doctors who have indicated observations such as the following:

    • “Patient stated he felt fine and free of pain.”
    • “Patient had no difficulty getting onto examination table.”
    • “Patient used cane in office, but did not use cane while walking to his car.”

    Third, you should understand why disability claims examiners send claimants to consultative medical exams. The most common reason is that they don’t think you are disabled but they need recent medical evidence in order to deny you disability benefits. Claimants are often sent to just to have a symptom checked or one test done, such as a straight-leg test. For instance, if a straight-leg test comes back negative and a positive test is required for a disability listing, you can be denied.

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    How Important Is Doctor Support In Securing Disability Insurance Benefits

    In order to file a claim for short-term and/or long-term disability, the insurance company requires that you obtain treatment from a medical doctor that specializes in your particular disability. It is equally as important to find a doctor who is willing to clearly document your restrictions and limitations in the medical record and to periodically fill out forms called Attending Physician Statements to support your continuing disability insurance claim.

    It is hard enough to find a doctor that provides good care and treatment that also provides a level of comfort and a good bedside manner. A claimant is also faced with the task of finding a physician that provides all of the former and is also willing to be bombarded with paperwork from the patients disability insurance carrier. This is a difficult and sometimes impossible task as physicians want to focus their time and energy treating patients, not filling out paperwork. This becomes a big problem with many disability claimants as they find more often than not, their doctors dont want to be bothered with filling out forms at all let alone every three months. Disability insurance companies are well aware of this issue and it seems that they intentionally bombard treating physicians with paperwork hoping that at some point they refuse to fill it out, or fill it out improperly giving the insurance company a reason to deny the claim.

    One Example Of How A Michigan Man Lost A Claim In Federal Court That Could Have Been Won Had He Obtained Good Medical And Legal Support

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    In the case of Franks v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, 2013 WL 449566 the Plaintiff Mr. Franks filed an action against Unum under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 for review of Unums denial of long-term disability benefits. Unum filed a motion for summary judgment in which the plaintiff failed to respond to. This may have been the result of inadequate representation, it was not explained in the court opinion. The judge in the case conducted a de novo review . Even though the judge reviewed the case de novo he was still only permitted to consider evidence already in the administrative record and nothing else.

    The failure to respond to Unums motion for summary judgment was not a fatal one since the judge reviewed the case de novo. The Plaintiffs downfall was his lack of strong medical support from his treating physicians.

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    What Happens If My Doctor And Employer Disagree Over My Return To Work After Short

    Your employment is a matter between you and your employer. In most cases, employers will follow the advice of an employees doctor regarding readiness to return to work. However, in some cases, disagreements between your employer and doctor will arise. This normally happens when your employer rejects your doctors opinions in favor of what the insurance company is telling them.;

    Disputes can also arise when your doctor says you are ready to return to work, but your employer disagrees. When disagreements between your doctor and your employer happen, it is critical that you make sure your doctor is following the best practices and giving detailed information. Sometimes your doctor will be the problem. This happens when they make unreasonable requests or dont give your employer enough information to accommodate your disability.

    If your doctor has notified your employer about your disability, then human rights laws will prevent your employer from firing you for not returning to work immediately. These protections are not absolute.

    You and your doctor must work in good faith with your employer to give them the information they need to determine how and if they can provide accommodations to allow you to work.

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    Although an employer can hire a temporary staff person to fill in during an employee’s absence, the company must allow the employee to return to her previous position or a position that has similar pay and responsibilities.

    Women who qualify for Pregnancy Disability Leave may take PDL on an as-needed basis and in small increments rather than at weeks at a time if recommended by their health care providers.

    An employer must treat Pregnancy Disability Leave like other temporary disabilities, in that any policies that apply to temporarily disabled workers must also apply to pregnant women.

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    What Information Do I Need To Get From My Doctor

    The exact information you need to get from your doctor depends on the basis of your claim. Here are some examples.

    Back pain. A claimant who files for disability based on lumbar and thoracic spinal stenosis and who has received treatment from an orthopedic doctor, a neurosurgeon, a physical therapist, and a pain management doctor needs the following types of information:

    • copies of CT scans, x-rays, and MRIs that show the extent of the spinal stenosis
    • radiologists’ reports that describe the findings from imaging studies
    • records from any surgical attempts to relieve the symptoms
    • detailed records of pain management visits, including medication list, dosages, reported side effects, and results from random urinalysis demonstrating compliance with prescribed medication
    • detailed physical therapy plan and the applicant’s response to treatment
    • statements from doctor about applicant’s ability to work , and
    • physical residual functional capacity assessments .

    Mental illness. A claimant who files for disability based on bi-polar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder and who has attended an in-treatment program at a local psychiatric facility on weekends needs the following type of information:

    Combination of impairments. A claimant who files for disability based on type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , and depression needs to provide the following types of information in support of her claim:

    How Do You Request Disability Records From Your Doctor

    Things your doctor can write to help you get approved for LTD – Disability Law Show: S3 E9

    Never assume that any doctor knows how your condition affects you and your ability to work.

    Before you visit your doctor to request disability records, consider talking with a disability benefits attorney from the Disability Advantage Group. Your lawyer can help you prepare a statement detailing your condition to take to your appointment. Then, during your visit, you can talk with the doctor and explain how your disability affects your life.

    Because both you and your doctor may be unfamiliar with the SSAs documentation requirements, a disability claim lawyer may be better qualified to request your medical records. Your disability attorney can help your doctor understand specifically which types of information the SSA needs.

    Your lawyer can also provide your doctor with the correct forms to complete for your disability application.

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    Seriously Do You Really Need To Understand Your Short

    Heres the short answer: yes. While its not exactly a fun topic to think about, its important that you familiarize yourself with the details of your planso you dont have to get up to speed when you actually need the benefit.

    However, wading through our own plan documents is a step that most of us skip. That informational booklet is immediately relegated to our desk drawer or filing cabinet.

    Do you remember the first day you started your job? Its kind of a firestormyou cant focus well or often, says McDonald. So we dont spend a lot of time achieving clarity about the benefit in the beginning. We only acquire an understanding of it when we are in deep need of the benefit.

    But particularly if you have an existing problem or condition, youre going to want to know the ins and outs of the benefit thats available to you.

    Anybody who goes into a new job and has any kind of serious medical condition that could at some point in time render them unable to work, I think its a good idea to be able to see the actual short-term and long-term disability plan documents to see how they define disability and how they handle pre-existing conditions, adds Bartolic.

    Ideally, youll never have to take advantage of your short-term disability benefits. But in the event that the unexpected happens, youll be glad that you took the time to understand whats offered to you. This explainer is a good place to start, but you also need to read through the details of your specific plan.

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