If you plan to seek out Social Security Disability, it is important that you get as much medical documentation of your condition as you can. Sometimes, having a second or even third opinion is a good choice, because having multiple doctors or providers agree on the severity of your injuries or illnesses can help bolster your case for disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration wants a few different kinds of medical evidence for a case like yours. It will want to see:
- Objective medical evidence such as signs and laboratory findings
- Medical opinions, such as written statements about your condition from your medical providers
- Other medical evidence that may not be objective
- Evidence that comes from nonmedical sources, such as colleagues or an employer
- Prior administrative medical findings, which are pieces of information that discuss past decisions finding that you did or did not have a disability at the administrative level of the current claim
With all of these items that you may need, it’s important that you get them from the right sources and have plenty of evidence for the Social Security Administration to review.
Why do second opinions matter so much?
Second opinions are important because they take time to get. So, for example, you may get the first opinion about a pulmonary issue that you’re dealing with in December. Then, you have tests done, and you get further information from that same provider by the end of January. Now, you look for a second opinion to verify those findings. The new doctor may not see you for a month or two depending on the wait times for their office. When you do see them, they will review past documents and maybe order additional testing.
At that point, you’d have at least three or four months of evidence of your condition as well as at least two medical providers discussing what you’re dealing with. If they both agree, then you have a stronger case. If they don’t, then you may continue looking into the condition to get a firm diagnosis.
With the right information, it’s possible to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance with the appropriate documentation in place and give yourself the best chance of getting your application approved.