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I had 2 lower back surgeries.Do I need my doctor in order to apply for S.S.Disability benefits?

Taylorsville, NC |

The recent one in July 2011 I had to have a bone graft and had rods and screws put in my back.Still going to pain management doctor due to still having lower back pain and bad muscle spams & numbness in my leg.On pain medicine and had sereval Kenalog injections.The dr.that done both my surgeries said I could go back to work full time but I'm not able to work.Lost my job I had after my 2nd surgery.I had sciatica nerve is what cause me to have 1st nov 2010 and in Feb 2011 I was assualted and had to get the 2nd back surgery which was July 2011 but my dr.also told me that he didn't get all my nerve the 1st time.Have a minimal asymmetric left bulging disc present.These results were from when I had the CT Myelogram done on 5/23/12.Would I have a chance in applying doing it myself?

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Attorney answers 4


It will be difficult to obtain Social Security Disability benefits if your only treating physician is of the opinion that you can perform full-time work. The Social Security Administration will want to see that doctor's records when you apply. Your best bet is to visit another doctor prior to applying, and hopefully obtain an opinion that is more consistent with your actual ability to work. This way your first doctor's opinion is not the only one on the record.

If I were you, I would hire an attorney to help you with the application process and present your case.

Good luck.

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Marshall Chriswell

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Marshall D. Chriswell is a civil practitioner with offices in Indiana and Clearfield Counties. Mr. Chriswell's practice emphasizes Wills & Estate Planning, Probate, Real Estate, and general civil disputes.


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I do not think it really makes much difference what your doctor says about ability to work. He is an expert in medicine but not in vocational placement. Generally the Social Security Administration does not care what doctors say about the ability to work. I often have clients come in all excited because they have a note from a doctor stating that the Dr. thinks they cannot work but Social Security pays little attention to that. The Social Security standard of ability to engage in substantial gainful activity in jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy is not something the doctor is familiar with. Social Security will be interested in what the doctor says about your functional limitations as result of impairments but not about his conclusion whether you can "work" or not because that is outside his area of expertise. I do think that a Social Security attorney would be of help to you in preparing your case.

Disclaimer: the above does not constitute legal advice and is only an opinion of the author as to current law. You should consult an attorney with questions about your particular situation.


In any social security disability case medical treatment is very important. There are also several other important factors which have a bearing on the success of your case. Your age, your past work experience, and your education. Another, unfortunate fact is that if your case goes to a hearing, depending upon the judge you get, your chances of success can range anywhere from 30% - 95%. That is why it is very important to have an attorney represent you. I always tell my clients, if I take your case I can't guarantee you a win, but if you don't apply, I can guarantee you won't get any benefits.

Actual legal advice can only be provided by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law regarding your question. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.


You definitely need a lawyer. If you do the case yourself you are less likely to win, and more likely to have delays in achieving a result. Social Security has some very complex regulations regarding qualification for disability. A good lawyer can send your doctor(s) forms to complete which will specifically answer questions that result in an award in your favor. You would not know how to create these forms or what questions to ask.