After the experiences I have had, I suggest that patients ask one important question before choosing a doctor: "Do you fill out paperwork for government agencies?" If the answer is "no" find another doctor. I was seeing three different physicians- a general practitioner, a pain specialist, and a doctor who specialized in spinal injections- and I could not stand or walk for more than ten minutes due to back issues. I did not have the education to do a desk job and manual labor was out so I applied for disability. All doctors readily supplied my medical files but none would fill out the papers for my disability application. It's not like I could just go to another doctor to get the forms filled out. A new doctor is unfamiliar with my physical problems. The people that have treated me for the last few years have the information but are unwilling to do anything. It took 3 years, several appeals, a court date and retaining a lawyer to be approved.
While I waited for approval, I figured I should return to school to work towards getting a degree in the meantime and maybe disability would not even be necessary. So I went to school (online because I could not walk across a campus.) I received my degree in the same month that my disability was approved. I thought I would be ready to return to work but a worsened back condition and pinched nerve in the leg make sitting for long periods of time impossible. I am now looking for part time work to see if I can ease my way back into the workforce and off disability for good. Sounds good right? WRONG! I owe $30,000 in school loans and they have come due. The payments are $400 per month, which is more than I can afford to pay. I am working to consolidate the loans and lower my monthly payment but I should not have to- there is a special exemption for those on disability. If you can get a doctor to fill out the paperwork, the loan will be forgiven because it would be me using government money to repay the government. If at any point I return to work, loan payments will resume. But, of course, no one will fill out the paperwork.
I don't know of any other circumstance where this kind of paperwork is necessary but I felt the need to warn others about this new trend among doctors.