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I cannot afford a doctor. Can I get SSA disability benefits?

The Social Security Administration relies solely on a claimant’s objective medical evidence (or information provided from a Consultative Examiner if the claimant does not have medical records) to determine if they are disabled.

Without objective medical evidence, which substantiates the claimant’s condition and proves they cannot perform substantial work for 12 continuous months, the claimant will be denied.

What if you are seriously disabled and unable to work but you cannot afford to see a doctor?

You have two options:

• Attempt to get medical care through any means possible. Some claimants will go to minor emergency clinics periodically and pay for medical evaluations until they have developed a substantial medical file. Other claimants may be able to locate “free” clinics in their city and periodically get free medical care. Others, unfortunately, may have to rely on E.R. visits.

• If you are unable to work and you are severely disabled but you do not have insurance or money to pay for a doctor you can also apply and wait until the Social Security Administration (SSA) sends you to a Consultative Examiner (C.E.).

Who is a Consultative Examiner?

They are not “SSA Doctors” as many claimants mistakenly assume, but they are independent contractors hired by the SSA to evaluate claimants who do not have sufficient medical evidence to prove their claim of disability.

The CE does not provide medical treatment; they are simply evaluating the claimant’s mental and physical health conditions and gathering information that they will report back to the Social Security Administration.

Will the Consultative Examination provide enough evidence of disability to win SSD Benefits?

Although a small number of SSD applicants may benefit from the C.E. examine, the majority of claimant’s will not. It is impossible for the C.E. to provide the same level of detail about the claimant’s physical and mental limitations as a doctor who has spent years treating their condition. Unfortunately, few Social Security Disability claimants win Social Security Disability benefits based solely on the consultative examinations.

How do I win Social Security Disability Benefits?

The best way to get Social Security Disability benefits is to have continuous medical care from an objective medical provider prior to applying for Social Security Disability benefits.

Although having a doctor support your claim or provide documentation that you are disabled will not guarantee that you will win benefits. If you have a supportive doctor who is willing to complete a residual functional capacity form (RFC) which details the mental and physical limitations you have to perform work, this can be invaluable to your SSDI or SSI claim.

As mentioned above, if you are unable to pay for ongoing medical care you should, at the very least, try to visit a clinic, hospital, doctor or free mental health clinic to document your mental or physical conditions prior to applying for Social Security Disability benefits.

The bottom line is…few cases are won from the opinions of the Consultative Examiner.

Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney

If you would like a Social Security Disability attorney to review your Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income claim you can fill out the FREE evaluation form and a disability advocate will call you to review your claim or you can call our office at 1-800-641-3759 to talk to someone now