The Social Security Administration states, "Medical evidence is the cornerstone of the disability determination under both title II and title XVI programs."
Thus, in order to qualify under either or both for SSI and SSDI benefits, anyone who has filed a disability claim with the Social Security Administration must be prepared to present solid medical evidence to back up his or her claim.
The glaring irony with this requirement is that almost everyone finds it extremely difficult to continue seeking medical treatment when they are not capable of working. If one cannot work because of his or her condition(s), then there certainly is not money available to pay doctors or hospitals for treatment.
There is no easy solution to this this problem, but even if you can go through a county hospital to continue documenting your symptoms and conditions at least once every three months, this should be sufficient. Remember, in order to win your disability claim, you have to be able to back it up with what the Administration considers proper medical evidence.
That leads me to the next point: What is the best type of medical evidence to present to the Social Security Administration? If you are going to have to find a way to go to the doctor or be treated in a hospital, at least get the biggest bang for your limited dollars.
Social Security provides a list of what the Administration considers to be acceptable medical sources. Here are the ones you need to be seeking treatment from if you can: (1) licensed physicians; (2) licensed or certified psychologists; (3) licensed optometrists; (4) licensed podiatrists; (5) qualified speech-language pathologists.
Now, do you see what is missing?
These are the medical sources not listed as acceptable medical sources: (1) nurse-practitioners; (2) physicians' assistants; (3) naturopaths; (4) chiropractors; (5) audiologists; (6) theraprists; (7) counselors; or (8) social welfare agency personnel.
Therefore, while the Social Security Administration will evaluate all sources contributing to your claim for disability benefits, it is very important that you seek treatment from the first list of medical professionals. Again, if your funds are going to be limited and you can only go to the doctor a couple of times before your hearing, make the very most of it. By seeking medical evidence of your conditions and symptoms from the first list, the Administration will give greater weight to those treating sources when evaluating your claim.