If My Doctor Writes A Letter Saying I Can't Work, Does That Mean I Win?

Sep 20, 2011 Comments Off on If My Doctor Writes A Letter Saying I Can't Work, Does That Mean I Win? by

Question: If my doctor writes a letter saying  I can’t work, does that mean I win?

Answer: Not necessarily but I may make it easier.

Social Security’s official position is that it carefully considers your doctor’s opinion. Their real position, which they are not all that careful about hiding, is that they don’t care in the least what your doctor thinks. The reality on the ground is a lot more complicated. Your doctor’s opinion does matter. A favorable opinion doesn’t guarantee a victory but it helps. An unfavorable opinion isn’t necessarily the end for your disability claim.

You need to understand that many times what a claimant thinks is a favorable opinion may be the exact opposite. Consider, for example, a letter saying ” Mr. X is permanently and totally disabled from his prior work as a carpenter. He is limited to standing no more than four hours a day and can lift no more than 20 pounds.” Sound good, doesn’t it? If Mr. X is 38 years of age, that letter hurts the case badly. At 38 years of age, it is not enough merely to be unable to do the kind of work you have done in the past. You have to be able to do different kinds of work. The letter says that Mr. X can do other work.

The bottom line is that it’s a lot harder to tell who will win and who will lose their Social Security disability claim. One factor, such as a letter from a doctor, generally doesn’t decide the case. It’s more complicated, which is why you need an attorney.

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About the author

Charles Hall is the lead attorney for the Charles Hall Law Firm in Raleigh, NC. He has been practicing in the Social Security Disability law field since 1979, is published, and is ready to help new clients win their benefits in North Carolina.