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Do Disability Lawyers Have Their Own Doctors?

disability lawyers and their own doctors

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Disability Lawyers and Doctors

I’m not aware of any disability lawyer technically having his or her own doctor, but any good disability lawyer should be able to help with developing evidence for your claim.

Medical Evidence is Needed to Win your Social Security Disability Claim

In order win your claim for disability benefits, you will need medical evidence. In fact, under Social Security rules and regulations, the agency cannot approve or deny your claim without some sort of medical evidence.

Medical evidence consists of all the relevant medical records from your treating doctors. The term “relevant” simply means that it must pertain to your claim for disability. For example, eye doctor records that result in a prescription for glass or contacts would not generally be relevant in a claim for disability unless your disability is based on an inability to see.

To help prepare your claim, you, the claimant, must provide your attorney or the Disability Determination Services (DDS) with your complete medical history, including the names and addresses of all your treating doctors. Your attorney or DDS will take this list and help ensure that your complete record is obtained by the individual making a disability determination in your claim.

Disability lawyers and doctors

What if You Are Not Seeing a Doctor Regularly?

Wrongly or rightly, lack of medical treatment is generally assumed to mean that you do not need treatment and as a result your conditions are not severe enough to warrant a finding of disability. This makes it important to do everything you can to help develop medical evidence, which is not only good for your claim of disability, more importantly it helps your overall health and your quality of life.

For many disability applications, building a disability case with sufficient medical evidence is difficult and often impossible without help. To get regular medical treatment, you usually must have insurance. To have insurance, you usually must have a job. Individuals applying for Social Security Disability have an inability to work.

Thus, they are unlikely to have insurance and unlikely to be able to afford expensive out of pocket medical treatment. This conundrum rears its head in many disability claims. Good disability lawyers have a few solutions that they can employ to help develop evidence despite your loss of a job and the resulting loss of your insurance.

Consultative Examinations

As noted above, your claim cannot be approved or denied without medical evidence. As a result, if your case lacks medical evidence, the agency will often schedule you for a consultative examination (CE). The agency contracts with doctors who will schedule appointments with claimants with the purpose of examining and submitting a report detailing the results of that examination. CEs are notorious for being quick and not very detailed.

It is rare for someone to be found disabled solely because of a CE. CEs are better than nothing, but they are not a replacement for treatment, notes and opinions from your own treating physicians. If you find yourself midway through your claim and you are not and have not received treatment, you and/or your attorney should request that you go to a CE.

Affordable Care Act

The comprehensive health care reform law enacted in March 2010 (sometimes known as ACA, PPACA, or “Obamacare”) has been a great benefit to many individuals applying for Social Security Disability. This Act often provides insurance for folks at a drastically reduced cost. The premiums associated with this medical coverage are based on a sliding scale making it a more affordable solution to many individuals who are lacking income because of their disability. To see if you can save money on insurance, you can visit its website here.

Medicaid

If you find that insurance under the ACA is too costly, you should explore Medicaid. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps cover medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. There are two ways to enroll in Medicaid. The first being at the State Level. The second is by filling out an application through the health insurance marketplace. Each state has different rules when it comes to eligibility. The best thing you can do is research eligibility in your state and apply if you are eligible.

Low-to-no-cost clinics

Often in your locality, there are low-to-no-cost clinics. A great resource that many of my clients have found helpful can be found here. These facilities are generally the best option for individuals who cannot afford insurance under the ACA and who are not eligible for Medicaid. This list of low-to-no-cost clinics is certainly not exhaustive, but it is the best national resource I have been able to find to date.

Summary

Although attorneys generally do not have their own doctors, they should have recommendations or advice to help you get much needed treatment. Obtaining consistent medical treatment will show your judge that your condition(s) are severe enough to require treatment.

Consistent treatment also helps the judge ascertain the severity of your ailment(s). Without documentation of your condition(s) it is simply impossible for a judge to properly evaluate your condition. Your attorney can provide you with resources to get the medical treatment you and your case require, but your attorney cannot schedule or get treatment on your behalf. It is up to you to develop that documentation to help the judge decide your claim in your favor.

 

FAQ for Disability Lawyers & Doctors

Do Disability Lawyers Have Their Own Doctors?

A disability lawyer typically does not have their own doctor. However, a good disability lawyer should have the expertise to assist you in gathering the necessary evidence for your claim.

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October 7, 2022

Written by TC Newlin

TC is a disability litigator and one of the managing partners in the Social Security Disability Department at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin. He has had the pleasure of helping thousands of people obtain the benefits they so desperately need.

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October 7, 2022

Written by TC Newlin

TC is a disability litigator and one of the managing partners in the Social Security Disability Department at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin. He has had the pleasure of helping thousands of people obtain the benefits they so desperately need.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *