How Letters From Doctors and Friends Can Help Your SSD Case
Imagine that you’re the boss of your own company and you’re hiring for a new position. You have two applicants, both with similar qualifications, and have asked them to provide you with letters of recommendation. One shows up with a glowing letter from their old boss, who only has positive things to say. The other applicant’s letter, also from a former boss, says the applicant has a tendency to procrastinate on important projects. Who are you going to hire? Most likely, you’ll pick the applicant with the positive letter of recommendation.
When it comes to applying for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits, the same idea applies. If an SSD applicant has a letter that provides evidence of the limitations caused by their injury or illness, it can make a huge difference. But at the same time, unnecessary or inaccurate statements can work against an SSD applicant.
If you’re planning to apply for SSD or are helping a loved one with their application, here is what you need to know about gathering statements to support your claim.
Letters From Your Doctor
One of the most important letters can come from your primary doctor. Your doctor is familiar with your health, including any current and past conditions. They will also have resources like MRI scans, X-rays, and vital statistics that they can provide as evidence. However, the Social Security Administration is not just looking for an overview of your health. Rather, they want to know exactly why your condition prevents you from working. Your doctor’s statement should address how your condition hinders your ability to perform basic tasks, like sitting, standing, lifting, reaching, or bending. They should also comment on factors like grip strength, reflexes, and overall strength.
Letters From Friends, Family, and Coworkers
You can also ask family members, friends, or coworkers for a letter. However, you shouldn’t just ask anyone. The ideal person is someone who knows the full impact that your injury or illness has on your daily life. For example, if you only see a friend for lunch once a month, they are not the best person to ask. On the other hand, a roommate would be able to describe how your condition affects your everyday abilities. Therefore, they would be able to give a better letter. Some examples of people who might know your everyday limitations include spouses or partners, or a parent, child, or other relative who lives with you. If you have an injury or illness that requires a caregiver, they would also be a good person to write a letter.
Regardless of who you ask to write a letter for your SSD case, you want to make sure that their information is truthful and accurate. If your letter makes exaggerated claims, omits information, or contradicts other information, it could end up actually hurting your case. This is why you should only ask people who are very familiar with your case and condition to write a letter.
Gathering letters and other information for your SSD case can be a complex process, especially when you are already dealing with an injury or illness. If you need help, consider contacting an experienced SSD attorney.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.