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Doctor what if I cannot afford one?

Proving disability without seeing a doctor or having any medical evidence about your condition and your physical and/or mental limitations to work will be almost impossible. Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “What if I have not seen a doctor for my condition? Will the SSA send me to a doctor?”


Medical evidence to prove most common conditions

The Social Security Administration will expect for you to provide more than just your word that you cannot work. In fact, when making a disability determination the SSA will rely primarily on medical evidence from your treating physicians and hospitals to determine the severity of your condition, whether it is expected to last 12 continuous months, and whether you have the physical and mental functional capacity to work.

Given the high cost of medical care and the lack of medical insurance many claimants have not received consistent medical care. Unfortunately, it’s often the claimants who need help the most that do not have the medical evidence to prove they cannot work.

So what do you do if you have not seen a doctor? If possible, go to the doctor. Even if you are only able to go to a small walk-in clinic one time per month this will be better nothing. If you are able to establish a relationship with a doctor they may be willing to complete a residual functional capacity form (RFC form) which can detail your mental and physical limitations for employment.

If you cannot afford to pay for any medical care you will need to research options provided by the local and federal government. For instance, some cities provide low income medical services.

What type of doctor should I see?

Not all treatment sources are considered equally valid by the SSA. In fact, the SSA has listed treatment providers which they consider “acceptable medical sources.” According to regulation § 404.1513 Medical and other evidence of your impairment(s), acceptable medical sources can include the following:

(1) Licensed physicians (medical or osteopathic doctors); (2) Licensed or certified psychologists. (3) Licensed optometrists, for purposes of establishing visual disorders only (except, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, licensed optometrists, for the measurement of visual acuity and visual fields only); (4) Licensed podiatrists; and (5) Qualified speech-language pathologists, for purposes of establishing speech or language impairments only.

Treatment information provided from sources that are not listed as valid medical sources will not be given as much credibility as information from valid sources.

Will the SSA send me to a doctor?

One of the most common questions claimants ask is, “Will the SSA send me to see a doctor if I have not seen one?” The SSA will send you to see a consultative examiner (CE) if they do not have sufficient medical evidence to make a disability determination. The CE will perform a consultative examination, but this exam is cursory and usually does not help your case.

For example, some claimants have complained that their CE exam lasted as little as five or ten minutes, and the doctor only asked a few questions about their condition.

Bottom Line:

Even the best consultative examination will not be as beneficial to your SSDI case as having good medical evidence provided by a doctor who understands your condition and who has provided good medical evidence that you cannot work.

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