Am I automatically entitled to Social Security Disability benefits if my doctor says I’m disabled?
If a doctor has said that you are disabled, you might be thinking you have an “easy” Social Security Disability case. Perhaps your doctor has filled out a form for Medicaid (insurance through the Department of Public Welfare) that states you’re disabled. But, despite all of this, it does not mean that you are automatically entitled to Social Security disability benefits and it does not mean you have an “easy” case.
Instead, it is important to understand that “disability” under Social Security is a legal determination that must be made by Social Security, often by an administrative law judge (also known as an “ALJ”). This ALJ is a Social Security Judge who will ultimately determine whether you are disabled or not. And in making that determination, the ALJ looks to the rules and regulations that Social Security has issued in order to make the decision. As part of the decision, the ALJ will look to medical opinions and medical records from treating sources such as your doctor. But, it is important to understand that this is only one area that the ALJ takes into consideration. It is vital to have an experienced Social Security disability attorney, one who understands the Social Security’s rules and regulations on disability, aid you in the process of obtaining benefits—particularly at the appeal stage.
Alternatively, if you have visited a doctor and the doctor has expressed an opinion that you are not disabled, you still may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Because disability under Social Security is a legal determination, it is possible to obtain benefits for disability even when the doctor does not believe that you are disabled. For example, Social Security’s rules contain the Medical/Vocational Guidelines, often referred to as the GRID rules, which contain different standards for individuals based on their age, work history, and education. These GRID rules are typically used for individuals over the age of 50 because at that point, the standards for disability are often relaxed. Because of this, an individual whose doctor does not believe that the person is disabled may very well be found to be disabled under the legal rules and regulations set for by Social Security.
It is vital to retain an experienced Social Security disability attorney when considering whether to apply for disability. Our office will do everything in our power to aid you in the process of obtaining Social Security disability benefits. Contact one of our attorneys today for a free consultation.