First, the Social Security Administration will not approve your case unless you have the medical evidence to back up your claim or claims.
Believe it or not, Social Security regulations require anyone working for the Administration to not approve a claim unless there is medical evidence to support the allegation that a claimant is disabled. For example, not matter how much a person claims he or she is in pain, those allegations must be substantiated in order for a claim to be approved. Simply put, unless there is some amount of medical evidence, your claim is going to be denied.
The make matters worse for many claimants who simply do not have the money to see a doctor, there are only certain kinds of medical evidence which will be accepted. Luckily, the Administration has now expanded its list of approved medical sources, but you will need to continue to seek medical attention in some form.
So, what kind of doctor do you need to be seeing in order to win your case?
In a perfect world, if a claimant could see a medical doctor (M.D., D.O. or PhD) specializing in the field in which the claimant is impaired, this would carry the most weight when determining whether a person is disabled. While this is becoming increasingly more difficult to do, what about a general plan to make sure a person who has no money will at least have some kind of medical record from which to base his or her claim?
If you have a physical impairment, the first thing you definitely do not want to do is see a chiropractor for your injuries. This type of doctor is not a recognized treating source, and it is likely the Administration will not give weight to his or her opinion.
If you have a mental impairment, then you definitely need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist. If you are only seeing a therapist or social worker, he or she will not carry much weight with the Administration either.
Again, luckily Social Security has relaxed its standards when determining who is an approved treating source, but a treating physician or psychologist is still the best means to give a claimant a chance at winning his or her claim.
So, again, what if you can't afford one, both, or none of the above?
I often tell my clients, you will have to get some type of indigent care within the county medical system in which you live. I get it, no one wants to sit in a county hospital for hours on end to see a doctor. It is not the best way in which to seek medical attention, but it may be your only hope. At least be receiving some type of treatment every three months while waiting for your hearing date (especially). If and when you do have a hearing, the judge reviewing your case will want the most up to date records to make a decision in your case.
It all comes down to how bad you need/want your disability benefits. If your case does end up at the hearing level (because your previous applications have been denied) the judge will ask if the record is complete. If it is complete, and you have not been receiving treatment for your condition(s), then the judge can only base his or her decision on the record. If that record is spotty or nonexistent, then you will lose your case.
We help clients throughout Texas and California fighting for their Social Security disability benefits. You can always reach us at: (888) 780-9125.