One of the most common questions for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income claimants attempting to get disability benefits is, “How can I see a doctor if I do not have any insurance?”
The question becomes even more important to claimants when their Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income claim is denied because they do not have enough medical evidence to support the claim that they are unable to work for at least 12 continuous months due to a severe mental or physical health condition.
Given the rising cost of medical care in the United States, getting great medical care for many individuals may seem almost impossible, especially if a claimant has been struggling to work for months or years. So what are your options?
First steps to take to get medical care without insurance:
1. Find a small doctor’s office or group of doctors and talk to them about your situation. Tell them you do not have insurance but you need very specific tests performed. Have them identify the cost for each procedure. Getting the right medical evidence for your claim will require very specific types of evidence. For example, if you have a severe back condition you will need X-rays and maybe a MRI. Get an estimate for these procedures and discuss payment options.
2. Be prepared BEFORE you get to the doctor’s office. This will require some research about the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income process. Find out what you will need to prove. The doctor does not have to fill out any particular forms, but they may be willing to list specific work activities in your medical file that you cannot do with your physical health condition. Be very specific about your condition and how you feel. Quickly identify your problem. Have the doctor recommend a specialist who may be willing to work with you on a payment schedule.
3. Schedule a visit every six months to a year (maybe more depending on your condition) and make sure you are following the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor. The Social Security Administration generally reviews the last three years of medical evidence in your medical files. Failure to follow the treatment plan outlined by the doctor may allow the Social Security Administration to assume if you were following your doctor’s recommendations you might be able to work.
4.Prioritize medical care. Even if money is tight generally individuals have money for things that are important to them. If you are attempting to get either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, getting great medical care should be your TOP priority.
5.Try to avoid the emergency room. Try to get medical care for your condition before it gets so severe you have to go to the emergency room, racking up thousands of dollars in medical costs. Even going to a minor emergency center periodically is preferable to ending up in the E.R.
Unfortunately, there are many very sick and disabled claimants who have not been able to win Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits because they cannot afford good medical care.
The Social Security Administration does send claimants without enough medical information to a consultative examiner for a cursory medical review, but this visit generally is not helpful to a Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income claimant.
- Can I work and get disability benefits? (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- Social Security Administration disability- how difficult is the process? (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- Social Security Administration Hearing – Common questions (disabilitybenefitshome.com)