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How do I approach my doctor about SSD?

NikonNNikon Posts: 34
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Health Insurance Issues
Hello Everyone,

I could really use some advice on how to talk to my doctor about getting her support on SSD. I am currently in pain management right now and have been for a year. Prior to being in pain management, I was being treated by a physiatrist. When my meds were increased to the point where they didn't feel comfortable prescribing the dosages, I was sent to Pain Management for them to take over my treatment. Before seeing the physiatrist full time, I had seen my surgeon who did a micro-d on me in 2004.
In 2006, I had reherniated L4/L5 and also herniated L3/L4. The surgeon who did my micro-d in 2004 didn't want to do surgery. I was then sent to PT both land and aqua. After a period of time, I was sent to physiatry. So, I was under the physiatrist care for most of the 3 years that my pain and new pain has come about.At no time, did any of the doctors suggest that I should apply for SSD. However, a nurse who is currently writing my prescriptions at pain management said I should. I know that SS wants doctors agreement and to have a form filled out by them.
I feel really stupid right now as I am feeling very anxious and like a chicken about this whole thing. If anyone is still reading this, I would really appreciate any advice on how to approach this with my doctors. Thank you very much for your time. Nikon
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Comments

  • I'm not on SSD but I'm on LTD from work. I let my Primary GP Dr. know I wasn't able to work and it was her who talked to my work and faxed things to her all the forms and payment to her to fill out the forms. Your Dr may already have the forms in their office. it's normal to feel anxious but if you need disability you need to contact your Dr. to get the ball rolling. Bring your Dr all the health info you need and your history of treatments you've had. There are lawyers who do free consult for SSD. I wish you the best for this matter. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thank you Charry for responding to my post. :)

    I actually had left my job for non-back related issues 6 months prior to the pain coming back. So, LTD is not an option for me.

    Should I approach my GP and the pain management doctor? My PM doc has given me several ESI's, facet blocks and nerve burning. I have been told that I have arthritis in my back as well. When I was in PT I gave a TENS unit a try, but, unfortunately that didn't help. (I am just giving you all some background information.)

    I have been to the SS website and have read many posts here. I know it will be a long process. I just don't know where to start and how to start.
  • I started with my physician telling me i didnt need to work. I tried to continue this anyway for 2 years which turned out worse for me. I then returned to my physician and explained to her how i felt and that me continuing to work was not an option with the pain i was in while at work, the meds im taking, and the treatment i need. As i continue to work my health goes downhill. She has since filled out my paperwork for std through my company and i also made sure i told her about my intentions of signing up on SSDI which she agreed this was a good choice for me. When i went to see her that day i was in her office for about 2 hours so be prepared to have a long extensive conversation about this. Good luck and I hope she fills out your paperwork.
  • Tell your doc how much of a struggle that it is for you to continue to work. If you have a better relationship with your family doc than he may be able to back you with SS. I also struggled for 2 years working in excruciating pain. It was my doctor that told me to apply for SSD and that he would back me 100%. You will need the backing of your doctor in order to be approved for SSD. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • talk with your pm dr, they are the one who is treating you and knows all the treatments you have had. if you have a good relationship with them it will help. just start out asking how the dr feels about you filing for ssd because you feel you cant work any longer and give your reasons. my dr was very cooperative.
  • Nikon -

    Here's the thing: if the problems you are having are so severe that they prevent you from performing any kind of work, then by all means, apply.

    SSD does not NEED or REQUIRE a doctor's statement that their patient is disabled. Your medical records will do all the talking. Very rarely does a doctor step in and say "My patient is disabled because....". Also, very rarely does the Social Security Administration ask a doctor if their patient is disabled. The only thing SSA will do is request medical records. With the number of disability claims, insurance claims, workers comp claims, etc. out there, companies who do nothing but copy medical records have sprung up in the 100s. Mostly when SSA requests medical records, they send the request to the doctor or hospital, but it is directed to the Medical Records (or to Health Information, or Release of Information) department; most times, the doctor does not even know these requests have been made.

    If you want your doctor's opinion as to whether or not they believe you should, then ask. But in all honesty, we know ourselves better than the doctors do; we know better what we can or cannot do. The doctors will only say whether they think your condition should pose that much limitation on you. But I understand that you would want your doctor's blessing whatever you decide to do. It's never an easy decision (filing for disability) to make; it's like we are giving in.

    Uh... so, what I am saying is, file your claim. The absolute worst thing that could happen is that you are denied. No FBI agents are going to come leaping out from behind bushes or anything to arrest you. ;)

    Whatever you decide to do - best of luck to you.

    Take care now!
  • I know that you have much more knowledge than I when it comes to SSD, but I would think that the doc would need to be on board because my doctor did get phone calls and have to fill out forms that were sent to him by SS. If he did not believe that I was disabled I think that he would have had a negative effect on my case when he filled out those forms. I have read tons of things on the net that say it is very important for your doc to be behind you when you file for SSD.
  • When a claim is at the hearing stage, the hearings office (OHA) will send a form to the doctor to fill out. Some doctors will do it without a doubt or second request. Others will only do it for a fee (and OHA/SSA will not pay a fee to have them fill it out unless there is a good chance it will be an allowance) and there are the others who flat out refuse to fill them out because they are too time-consuming. In the last 2 scenarios, if the doc won't complete the forms, an examination is scheduled at the expense of SSA.

    It is true - you need to have your doctor behind you. BUT, the most prevalent or important thing that will ensure your allowance is the medical records. THEN comes your doctor's opinion, and your statements (on all those activities of daily living forms you've filled out). Basically, it is the "totality" of the medical evidence...

    Hope that clears it up for you! If not, you know where to find me!

    Y'all have a great day!
  • I think that you explained it very clearly. I for one really appreciate the help and support that you give to the members that are struggling through this process. I have 10 days until ALJ and will definately keep all informed of the outcome.
  • Good luck with your hearing.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    You may want to get a SS attorney to help you through the process. I worked in LTD for years and dealt with SS a bunch....but as I consider applying for SS (been out of work since May) I plan to start out with a good SS attorney. While SS wants medical records from your doctors and is looking to see what your impairments are - they don't seek to get "approval" from your physician. However, having your doctors be aware that you are applying for SSDI will be very helpful. You may want to start with calling each physician you actively treat with (especially if they have a medical assistant or nurse that is their eyes and ears) and let them know you are beginning the SSDI process. Ask the doctor's staff if you need to come in to speak with the doctor or what their internal process is.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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