Doctor visits are uncomfortable and time consuming for just about everyone, but the latest statistics suggest that the annoyances everyone has to go through may also be a hindrance to disabled workers seeking disability benefits like SSDI benefits.
First comes the time we spend before we even see a doctor. According to a 2010 study, the average wait time in a doctor’s office is 24 minutes in the US. Horror stories of waits far longer than that are typically not too difficult to find.
The problems continue once we finally get to see a doctor. One study of doctors in Canada and the US found that doctors interrupt their patients within 23 seconds of the patients’ beginning to explain their symptoms. In one-fourth of doctor visits, the doctor never even asked what was troubling the patient.
Another study found that doctors only spend about 80 seconds conveying important information and that they usually do so in technical medical language that patients are unable to understand. Finally, a study released in June found that, in over 70 percent of office visits, the doctor spends less than 20 minutes with a patient.
Disability Benefits and Trips to the Doctor
So how do these numbers impact disabled workers? The medical opinions of doctors are essential to the disability benefits application process. Employees of the Social Security Administration – whether initial adjudicators or subsequent administrative law judges – give these opinions significant weight when evaluating a person’s application. Doctor visits that are too short and superficial rarely provide enough medical information to properly evaluate a disability benefits application. This results in application denials, leading to appeals and a process that could take years before a disabled worker starts getting benefits.
This is why it is so important for disabled workers to work with a professional before they even start their disability benefits application process. Have you recently suffered a disability that prevents you from working? Speak to one our Tulsa Oklahoma Social Security disability attorneys to learn more about whether you qualify for disability benefits.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys