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My Doctor Recommended that I Stop Working: Am I Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Does your doctor think that you should stop working on a full-time basis due to an injury, illness or medical condition? If so, you may be wondering: Am I qualified to receive Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits? The answer is “it depends”—you certainly may be eligible for benefits, but it is not guaranteed.

Unfortunately, getting approved for Social Security disability benefits can sometimes be challenging. According to official government data, nearly 70 percent of first-time SSDI claims are denied. If you are applying for benefits, it is imperative that you submit a strong and well-documented claim. Here, our South Carolina Social Security disability attorney explains what you need to know if your doctor recommended that you stop working.

Medical Documents and Records are Necessary to Support a Disability Claim

To get a Social Security disability claim approved you need objective, comprehensive medical evidence. The Social Security Administration (SSA) frequently rejects claims solely on the grounds that they are not supported by sufficient medical evidence.

To be sure, a qualified doctor’s recommendation against continued work is, in itself, an important form of evidence. Still, beyond that, you need to ensure that your illness or injury is well-documented. If you have any questions about the medical documents and records you need to build an effective claim, our Greenwood, SC Social Security disability lawyer can help.

Your Physician Should Complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) Form

As noted above, your physician’s recommendation against work is a key form of evidence. In order to ensure that this evidence is properly considered by an SSA claims examiners, it must be submitted in the appropriate manner. Specifically, your physician should complete a document called a residual functional capacity (RFC) form.

As explained in the Social Security Code of Federal Regulations, a residual functional capacity assessment clarifies your doctor’s view of what and how much you can do in spite of your current physical or mental limitations.

The SSA will review your case, in part, based on the information contained in your RFC form. In other words, your RFC should clearly detail the full extent of your limitations and the extent of the impact that your disability has on your ability to work. If you have any questions or concerns about the residual functional capacity form, Social Security disability attorney Michelle Powers can help.

The SSA Will Consider Your Capacity for a Light Duty Position or Alternative Employment

All doctor recommendations are not created equal. Make sure you understand the nature and implications of your doctor’s recommendation against continued work. Does your doctor want you to stop performing your current, physically intense job? Does your doctor want you to refrain from working altogether? The answer to this question matters.

In reviewing your Social Security disability claim, the agency will consider your capacity to perform a light duty position and your capacity to reasonably find suitable alternative employment. If a reasonable light duty/alternative position is available, your SSDI claim can be denied on those grounds.

A Denial is Not the End of the Process: File a Social Security Disability Appeal

Finally, it is important to remember that an initial SSDI denial is not the end of the road. If you were denied benefits—either on medical grounds or technical grounds—you still have the right to file an appeal.

In South Carolina, the first step of the SSDI appeals process is called a Request for Reconsideration. You should use Form SSA-561 to submit your initial appeal. It is crucial that you take immediate action to protect your rights after receiving a denial letter.

You generally only have 60 days to file your official Request for Reconsideration. Failure to do so could hinder your ability to get benefits. The best way to protect your rights and interests is to speak to an experienced South Carolina Social Security disability lawyer as soon as possible after getting a denial letter.

Call Our Greenwood, SC Social Security Disability Lawyer Right Away

At Powers Law, LLC, our top-rated South Carolina Social Security disability attorney is a skilled, results-oriented legal advocate. If your doctor has recommended that you stop working, we can help you obtain the Social Security disability benefits that you deserve.

For a free, no obligation case evaluation, please contact our legal team today. With an office in Greenwood, we handle Social Security disability claims throughout Central South Carolina, including in Abbeville, McCormick, Clinton, Laurens, and Newberry.

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