Seeking Treatment on Your Own? Be Sure to Keep SSDI in Mind

Financial burdens and other stresses are only some of the things to navigate while treating a disability on your own. Luckily, there are things that can help, including Social Security. Did you know that some doctors and treatment styles will not be accepted by the SSA? In fact, these treatments could jeopardize your chances of receiving benefits. There are many things to keep track of when applying for Social Security Disability benefits—which only makes managing treatment on your own more difficult.

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Photo by Jasoon via Flickr

The SSA Process

The Social Security Administration has two programs to help those who cannot work because of a disability. These two programs are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).  (To learn more about the differences and benefits of these programs, click here.) However, there are many people that try to abuse this system and attempt to receive money and support that they don’t deserve. Because this happens more than it should, the SSA has a strict qualification and claims process to award support to those who truly need it.

This can add some difficulty to those seeking treatment on their own. If you want aid from the SSA, you need to make sure you have the appropriate medical proof—obtained from physicians’ statements and medical records—and that this proof comes from a source the SSA can trust.

SSA Recognized Treatment and Qualifications

First off, your condition must qualify as a disability.  The Social Security Administration defines disability as the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”

This means that your disability must be a longtime condition that prevents you from working for over a year. As part of the claims process, several things determine whether or not you can receive help from the SSA. One of those things is your physician.

Your Physician’s Status

During the claims process, you will need a statement from your physician. This information helps the administration evaluate the degree of your disability and how it impacts your life. The same is true for your medical records.

It is best to receive treatment consistently from the same physician or medical source, because the SSA will “generally give much more weight to the opinion (of someone) who is treating the patient on a continuing basis.” Being honest with your doctor can be crucial to your claims process, which impacts the decision of the Disability Determination Services.

Disability Determination Services

Ultimately, a team determines whether you are defined as disabled. The team consists of “a physician/psychologist and a disability examiner, working in the disability determination services (DDS)” of the State where you live. The DDS work under the same criteria for each state. While the DDS does not physically examine you to prove your claim, the evidence provided by yourself, your medical records, and those who have treated you is what creates the proof of your disability. However, the DDS may ask for you to clarify information. It’s important to be very honest and thorough in your medical reports. It also helps if you understand what the SSA expects from your application and how to best portray that information.

Getting Legal Help

SSD book forward

There’s a lot to keep track of to make sure that you can qualify for Social Security in the future.  That’s where help from an experienced legal team can come in handy. We’ve made it our priority to understand all the in’s and out’s of the claims process to help you get the money you’ve earned. Having an attorney on your side is a way for your questions to be answered by someone who understands this system completely. If you’d like to come in for a free consultation, be sure to call us at (801) 890-1030. Or, for more information about the claims process, get a copy of our free book.