You can still potentially receive Social Security disability benefits without ever seeing a doctor, yet, it will likely be difficult. The Social Security Administration (SSA) follows a step-by-step process to determine if you are disabled. Part of that process is matching your condition with the SSA’s list of medical conditions. To prove that you are suffering from a specific ailment, you will need information about your medical condition, which usually includes a diagnosis from a doctor.
According to the SSA, your application for disability must include the contact information of someone that they “can contact who knows about your medical conditions.” For your application to get accepted on your first attempt, you will likely need a credible source (such as a doctor) to provide this information to the SSA. Without having documentation to support your wellbeing, there is no way that the SSA can judge the severity of your condition.
But even if you have not recently visited a doctor for a medical condition, there is still hope for your disability application.
Financial Constraints with Doctor’s Visits
Not everyone can afford to visit a doctor regularly, and the SSA understands this. Insurance premiums can be rather expensive for some Americans, and this can prevent individuals with low income from seeking medical attention. Medical records and related evidence are vital pieces to successful Social Security disability applications. Without them, you might be faced with a denial of your first application.
The SSA requires you to provide detailed information about your medical condition when applying for disability.
Some of this information includes:
- Your doctor’s contact information
- Dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics
- Medicines you are currently taking, and who prescribed them
- Medical tests, including imaging scans and lab results
Without seeing a doctor, you will likely not have this information when applying. If you cannot prove that your condition is so severe that it prevents you from working, your application will likely be denied.
Yet, the SSA has measures in place for those who cannot afford medical care. For instance, a consultative examination is a method the SSA may offer to have your condition examined by one of their doctors at no cost to you.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
Using Consultative Examination
During the Social Security disability application process, Social Security can order a consultative examination (CE) to help provide you with medical evidence to support your claim. This is where a medical professional who is paid by SSA will perform an examination to determine the severity of your condition. The Disability Determination Process can help you in this way. Disability examiners then rely on the consultative examination’s report to determine the status of an applicant’s case.
Previous Medical Treatment Can Help Your Application
The SSA understands that there are valid reasons why you cannot see a doctor. Beyond not having the financial means to afford health insurance or doctor’s visits, you may stop seeing a doctor because the treatments were not improving your condition. If you began taking medications, only to see no improvement in your overall health, you may have elected to stop taking those drugs.
Regardless of why you discontinued treatment, any document you have relating to past or present medical care can be crucial in your application for disability benefits. Again, your number one goal in your application is to prove that you are suffering from a condition so severe that you cannot continue working. If you cannot accomplish this task, then you face having your application denied.
Even if you have not recently seen a doctor, you may have evidence from your previous visits that may support your application. In this situation, you may want to consider teaming up with a Social Security disability lawyer to learn more about what you can do to strengthen your application.
Disability Lawyers Can Help You Apply for Benefits
If you need legal support with your application for Social security disability benefits, call Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400. Our disability lawyers have over 40 years of service to western Pennsylvania and the surrounding states.
Some of the services that we can provide include:
- Reviewing your application for accuracy and completion
- Helping you understand your legal options through the application process
- Determine if you have adequate evidence to support your claim
- Guiding you through the appeals process, if necessary
If you are looking to apply for Social Security benefits or have been denied, contact Berger and Green now to begin a free case review.