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  • Christopher Le

Can I Receive Social Security Disability If I Haven't Had Any Doctor Appointments?

If you haven't seen a doctor for your medical condition, and haven’t received any kind of treatment, it will be hard to prove to Social Security that your condition is serious. Also, if you aren't taking medication or receiving medical treatment, Social Security won't know whether your condition could improve with medical treatment, allowing you to go back to work or not. There are a lot if unknowns when you haven’t sought medical attention.

What If I Can't Afford to Go to a Doctor?

For some individuals, seeing a doctor appointments is a luxury that they can’t afford or pay for. Medical visits are pricey and some individuals do not have the funds to pay for them. The cost of medical insurance for an individual or family is not financially feasible for working class or middle-class citizens, unless one member of the family works for an employer who offers insurance.

This can pose a problem for those who become disabled and file for Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI, because disability examiners base their decisions on what’s in the medical records. Without recent medical evidence, at least within the last 3-6 months, the disability examiner has no medical proof that the applicant is currently not able to work. So even if you are disabled, without medical evidence backing up your claim, there is no written medical opinion to help prove your claim.

Will Social Security Send Me to their Doctor?

If there isn’t enough medical evidence in your file to make a decision, the disability examiner will schedule a consultative examination (CE) with a social security appointed physician. However, thess exams are brief and are rarely used as a basis of approval of any claim. Disability examiners send applicants to consultative exams because without some sort of medical opinion from a doctor or an approved medical source, disability examiners cannot just deny a claim.

Are CEs biased against social security disability applicants? The physicians who perform consultative exams are not employees of Social Security, but they are paid by SSA to perform these exams. These physicians who perform CEs have contracted with Social Security to provide an opinion on a claimants ability to work. It’s usually a one time evaluation that you’ll have with this doctor. This is different than the doctor/patient relationship between you and your treating physician. Normally, a treating physician will try to protect his patients health and act as their advocate, whereas a physician who performs a CE is simply providing a service to Social Security so that the disability examiner can close or deny a case.

Will a Consultative Exam Help Me Win My Claim For Disability Benefits?

Since not having sought medical care for your condition hurts your case, even if you go to a CE and even if the CE comes back favorable, you may still be denied benefits without at least some other medical evidence. That’s why it’s vital you get some sort of medical attention prior to filing your disability claim, even if that means you need to visit a free clinic or an emergency room, so that you have some form of medical documentation. You should also check with your county to see if they offer free medical care. Here in bexar county, San antonio, Texas the university health systems offers a program called carelink that provides free healthcare services. However, not all our eligible so you will have to check with eligibility requirements with your county’s free healthcare services center. The ideal scenario of course, is to establish a relationship with a primary care physician who can supply Social Security with a diagnosis, a prognosis, a plan, a date of onset of disability, and a detailed list of your physical and/or or mental limitations.

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