S SLEPIAN SMITH, PLLC | DISABILITY LAW
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Can my regular doctor fill out my disability forms?

If you are considering applying for Social Security disability benefits, you may wonder whether your regular doctor can help with verifying your condition, or if you must visit a special doctor.

The good news is that in many cases, it is perfectly fine, even encouraged, for your doctor to help. After all, this is the person you have been seeing for some time and who has the most documentation of your situation. Do keep a few things in mind, though.

Definitions of "disability" differ

What it means to be disabled differs from person to person, and your doctor's opinion could be different from the definition under Social Security law. Generally, Social Security says that you must be unable to take part in any gainful activity due to mental or physical impairments that have lasted at least one year, will last at least one year or that will eventually result in your death.

If your doctor is unable or unwilling to say you have a disability meeting that definition, it may be a good idea to get a second opinion. This can be especially true if you have a condition such as depression or fibromyalgia that is hard to document to the Social Security Administration's satisfaction. You definitely need all the doctor support you can get for such situations.

It is also possible your doctor has the best intentions in the world and agrees you are disabled under the legal definition but uses poor word choice sometimes. An attorney can help ensure your doctor addresses the right issues. It is also important you are honest with your doctor; now is not the time to be stoic and say that you feel fine sometimes. Report your symptoms accurately and thoroughly.

You can apply for benefits immediately as long as your condition is predicted to keep you from working for at least 12 months. Insight from your regular doctor can be what ends up making or breaking your case.

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Slepian Smith, PLLC
3737 North 7th St.
Suite 106
Phoenix, AZ 85014

Phone: 602-842-6740
Phone: 602-266-3111
Phone: 480-833-3111
Fax: 602-266-2431
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