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Here’s Your Physician’s Role In The Social Security Disability Process

When going through the process to apply for social security disability, you may wonder what role your physician plays.

Here is a breakdown of what is needed from them and the role they play:



The Social Security Administration requires that to find one medically disabled, an acceptable source such as a physician must establish a diagnosis of that medical condition. 

After it has been established, the physician should address the extent of the condition. This will include establishing whether it has made an impact on the person’s ability to perform daily functions such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, etc.


Responding to the residual functional capacity questionnaire

These forms are meant to address three main things for the Social Security Disability application:

  1. The reason for which the patient was being examined
  2. The diagnoses, prognoses, symptoms, and objective signs related to the conditions for which they are being treated;
  3. And the patient’s residual functional capacity, or the extent of their limitations due to their ailment.  


Written statement

Often the questionnaire and medical history will not be enough. The SSA may require your physician to provide a written statement of your medical condition. This written statement can usually make or break your case. 

If the SSA is still not convinced of the magnitude of your symptoms you may be required to undergo a consultative exam, even if your doctor has provided all the necessary documents. If your doctors’ results differ from the consultative exam, the SSA will take this written note into account. 


Social Security DisabilityThe best thing to do before starting the process is to speak with the physician that has been treating your symptoms. 

This will not only give them a heads up that the paperwork is coming their way, but they can now go over the details of your condition with you. This will shed also some light on whether they feel you are a good candidate for social security benefits or not. 

If the doctor feels you don’t have enough evidence to support your claim, you can ask them to refer you for an RFC Evaluation. This evaluation will provide you with the additional documentation needed for your application.

What if your doctor is unwilling to provide documentation or a written statement for your case?

We have seen it happen before, where a doctor is unwilling to provide the documentation necessary for your Social Security Disability claim. Whether it’s because they feel unqualified to determine the severity of your condition, or they simply don’t have the time, it can happen. 

In the event it does, the best course of action is to pursue the RFC Evaluation on your own. It does cost money to take but not having any medical documentation to support your claim can break your case. 


If you’re ready to start the process to file for Social Security disability benefits, contact us today. We can help put together all the necessary documentation to support your claim.