Tips to writing effective letters regarding disabilities including identifying the recipient and his expectations, identifying the writer and his qualifications, and identifying the patient and his limitations as they relate to the purpose of the letter. Physicians must draft these letters to achieve their intended purpose.
The Social Security Administration has a strict definition of disability that determines whether a patient qualifies for benefits. This criterion is quite different from that needed to excuse a student from school or to request an employer make a reasonable accommodation. The physician must keep in mind how the reader defines disability and how the patient’s condition meets the reader’s standards.