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Monday, September 29, 2008

DISABILITY BENEFIT TIP OF THE WEEK: How often should I see my doctor?

One of the things that both insurance companies and the Social Security Administration use to determine if you are disabled is the frequency with which you visit your doctors. Here are a few pointers.

Long Term Disability

  • Most insurance companies would like to see you treating once a month to once every two months.
  • Most insurance companies have a provision that requires you to be under the "regular care of a physician." You can find out what the definition of regular care is by reading your plan document.

Social Security Disability

  • Social Security generally weighs the opinion of a "treating physician" more heavily than a one-time evaluating physician. A treating doctor is one that has seen you at least three times.
  • Social Security also values the opinions of specialists (i.e., rheumatologists, oncologists, orthopedists) more than general practitioners (i.e., internists and family medicine doctors).
  • Most of the time, it is better to see a doctor with an M.D. or D.O. degree than a doctor of eastern medicine, a chiropractor (D.C.), physical therapist, or nurse.
  • In general, you should be seeing a doctor at a minimum of once every 2-3 months, though more is better.

REMEMBER: The more frequently you treat, the more credibility you have and the more documentation you will have of your disability. In order to make sure you have proper documentation, please click
here and here for additional tips.

Copyright (c) 2008 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved. Any content borrowed or referenced from another source is referenced by citation to the original source as noted in the text above.

Legal Guides From John Tucker on Selected Disability Topics