Back Condition Can I get therapy from the SSA?
Severe back condition and getting SSA disability benefits
If you have a severe back condition one of your main concerns is getting great medical care. Unfortunately, without a job or medical insurance the cost of medical care may be out of reach for many Americans. Recently on our disability forum we had a claimant ask, When I apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or after I am approved will I be able to get therapy for my back condition?
What types of benefits are offered to disability applicants with a severe back condition?
Unfortunately, most SSDI and SSI applicants are denied disability benefits. Additionally, medical care is not offered to applicants. How do you get approved for SSDI? You must have great medical records which detail your diagnosis, your health limitations and whether your back condition allows you to work.
This poses a problem for many disability applicants, many of whom are very disabled. How do they get the medical records they need if they cannot afford medical care. There is not a good answer to this question.
If you lack sufficient medical records for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine if you are disabled they will send you to a Consultative Examiner (assuming you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI or SSI) but this evaluation is NOT medical care and most likely will not help you get approved for benefits.
To increase your chance of getting SSDI or SSI benefits you need to find medical care on your own. Some claimants have success visiting a minor emergency center on a regular basis to begin to build their medical record.
Therapy for my back condition if I am approved for SSDI or SSI benefits
SSDI and SSI benefits offer a monthly cash benefit to qualifying recipients. These benefits will also eventually provide medical care. SSDI recipients will receive Medicare 24 months from the date of their disability. Most SSI recipients will receive Medicaid at the time they are approved. Contact the SSA if you receive SSI because some states will require you to fill out a separate Medicaid form.
Now there are several ways to get therapy for your back after you receive SSDI or SSI benefits. You can either use your cash payment you receive each month or you can use your medical benefits to find a physical therapist.
How do I know if my back condition is severe enough for benefits?
To qualify for disability benefits you will have to prove your condition is going to last 12 continuous months and does not allow you to work. You also cannot be working or making too much money when you apply for benefits. Additionally, the SSA will expect that you have gotten proper treatment for your condition and you still cannot work.
The SSA also has a list of conditions they consider automatically disabling called the SSA Listing of Impairments. To meet or exceed a listing you will have to have symptoms similar to those listed. Review the listing for more information about the types of symptoms you will need to prove you have and begin to gather evidence to support your claim.