It’s not uncommon to hear a claimant for Social Security disability or SSI disability state that their personal physician is “completely behind getting my benefits for disability”, only to unfortunately find out down the road, that their physician isn’t being very helpful, or even worse, actually not supportive at all! The bummer part is that this often becomes the realization just as the disability lawyer is preparing a case for a hearing. When this happens, you and/or your lawyer need to try to gather recent medical records as well as a supportive statement/medical source statement or RFC form.
It is usually a pretty good clue that your doctor is not supportive of your disability case if you find their office is unresponsive to requests for medical records or that the doctor is unwilling to complete the rather lengthy RFC form. One would wonder, well if their doctor is not supportive to their case then why did they say they were? It may be because sometimes doctors say one thing to their patients, and another thing in their patient’s medical records. It may also be because they’ve changed their mind. Another reason may be that the doctor runs a pretty busy practice and does not wish to devote their time to a claimant’s disability case. If the last reason is the case, the doctor may charge to fill out the RFC form, which is money well spent.
However, if your doctor is not willing to fill out the form whether you pay a fee or not, you should consider switching doctors. If you do switch doctors, you’ll have to see them several times to establish that they are now your treating doctor.
Try to discern whether your doctor will support your claim, by having a simple conversation with them or by reviewing your own medical records.
When it’s all said and done, you have to realize that Social Security disability and SSI cases take too much time and energy to fight, only to realize that you don’t have the support of your doctor for your claim.