When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, all medical records during the period of alleged disability must be requested and submitted. Along with mandatory medical records, you may also request your treating doctor or provider fill out a treating source statement or form to submit. A treating source statement form is essentially paperwork your medical provider fills out indicating their opinion regarding the severity of your medical condition and the limitations that these medical conditions place on you. This form will ask them for information such as the specific conditions they are treating you for, how long they have been treating you for, how often you see them for treatment, what their opinion is on your ability to work, and what physical or mental limitations you may have based on your medical conditions. Physical limitations would include things such as your ability to sit, stand, walk, and lift. Mental limitations would include things like your ability to concentrate and focus, adapt to change in a workplace, and interact with coworkers and supervisors.
While this form may be very helpful to a disability case, there are some very important points to note. First, this form is not required to be filled out and submitted by your treating provider. Filling out the form is totally voluntary, and your treating provider cannot be forced to fill it out. Secondly, there is no guarantee that your treating provider will fill out the form favorably – i.e., in a manner that will support or help your case for disability. Thus, it is important to have a specific conversation with your treating provider prior to sending the form to them to fill out. This is useful to fully explain to them what the form is and to see if they would be willing to fill it out. Speaking with your provider prior to sending them the form is important because if they choose to fill out the form, it must be submitted no matter if it is supportive or unsupportive to your case. Therefore, it is important to work with an experienced law firm to see whether getting a treating source statement by your treating provider would be helpful to your specific case and situation.