We've reached out to our fans on Facebook and asked for their questions--and Charles Binder is providing the answers! Below, a client asks a very important question regarding obtaining a letter from her doctor in support of her disability claim.
Question: One of your associates or representatives told me to get a recommendation letter from my primary doctor (for my SSI application). But my doctor refuses to write me one. How can I ask her to change her mind? Some suggested to pay her for the letter. But some said it's against the law to pay her. I want to make sure I won't offend anybody. Some said it's against the law because it's "bribery". I don't know what to do.
Charles Binder's Answer: It is your doctor's obligation to assist his patient in getting medical coverage. With Social Security Disability, one gets Medicare. With Medicare, one can get medical treatment; without it many people cannot afford treatment. How can any doctor say he does not do this? It seems to me that this doctor should be told, in no uncertain terms, that you consider it part of his job to assist you obtain medical treatment if you are entitled to get it through Social Security Disability.
In my opinion, if your doctor refuses to cooperate he should not be your doctor. He does not care enough about you, his patient.
But a doctor is entitled to be paid for his time. You are not " bribing" him. You would be bribing him if you were making him do something that he knows is dishonest or illegal. If he does not think you are disabled, he does not think you are disabled. But if he does, his failure to help you get the benefits and the insurance that goes with it is disgraceful. If the doctor wants to be paid, pay him his normal fee for his time doing such a report. We try to create forms so that the doctor can very quickly give his opinion on your ability to work.
Many doctors mistakenly feel that if you can function at all, you are not disabled. But being disabled does not mean you are a vegetable, it means the inability to work day in and day out at a competitive rate of speed-- essentially full time work. If you are over fifty it may mean merely the inability to do your past type of work. Most doctors don't know that but you can explain that to him, and if he fills out a form he may realize that.
**Do you have a question about Social Security Disability that you'd like Charles to answer personally? Leave your question here as a comment, send us a message with your question on our Facebook page, or send a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask that you be respectful with your questions, and avoid questions specific to your own claim as we are unable to answer them publically**