If you are applying for Social Security Disability, your doctor’s opinions can either make or break your disability case. It is crucial that, while you are applying for disability, you see a doctor on a regular basis and follow her treatment plan to the letter. This will help to make sure your doctor will provide the necessary information to Social Security to support your disability claim. There are many reasons why you must follow your doctor’s instructions, when you apply for disability. Here are a few.
Your doctor may not know what to submit
Believe it or not, most doctors are unfamiliar with the type of information, Social Security expects in order to make the decision to approve disability benefits. One of the steps you can take is to make sure your doctor keeps detailed records of all of your symptoms over an extended period of time. The disability decision depends on the credibility of your statements regarding your condition. In other words, the Social Security Administration must believe what you say about your symptoms, and how those symptoms make it difficult for you to perform basic day-to-day activities. One of the ways they evaluate your credibility is to see whether you sought medical treatment for your condition.
Social Security will look to see if you comply with your doctor’s instructions
Another way Social Security assesses the validity of your complaints is whether you have complied with the doctor’s recommended treatment by following your doctor’s advice, taking your medication as prescribed, using assistive devices as ordered, and keeping your medical appointments. Otherwise, your failure to follow your doctor’s recommended treatment, may lead Social Security to conclude that your condition is not as severe or limiting as you have represented.
Acceptable Reasons for Failing to Comply
Although Social Security will certainly consider the fact that you are not complying with your recommended medical treatment, the agency is not allowed to do so without considering your reasons for failing to do so. To that end, there are acceptable reasons for not complying with your doctor’s suggested treatment plan. Some acceptable reasons include:
- You cannot afford treatment and you do not have sufficient insurance coverage
- The side effects of a medication are worse than your symptoms
- You have been told there is no effective treatment
- Medical treatment is against your religion.
Refusing to have recommended surgery
Another common issue that arises is whether or not to agree to surgery. Like with general medical treatment, if you refuse to go through with surgery recommended by your doctor, which could improve your medical condition, Social Security could deny your benefits. On the other hand, if you have a sufficient reason for refusing surgery, the agency must take that reason into account.
If you have questions regarding medical treatment, or any other Social Security Disability concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (800) 364-8305.
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