Common Mistakes - Discontinuing Treatment with Your Physician

Many disabled persons are placed in a tough situation when it comes to continuing to see their doctors. On the one had, the fact that you’re unable to continue working means that you don’t have extra money for anything; including many of the necessities of life. On the other hand, if you can’t receive treatment, your likelihood of recovering is practically vanishes. Further, if you have a terminal condition, the quality and length of your remaining life could be severely affected.

What many people don’t realize is that when you discontinue treatment with your physician, you compromise the likelihood that you will be approved for Social Security Disability benefits. This is because most of the disabling conditions that Social Security Disability examiners use to determine your eligibility require that your condition has not improved even after following your physician’s prescribed treatment regimen.

Before most Social Security Disability cases are determined, the SSA requests a good deal of medical documentation. It is important that this documentation be current. Older information does not always lead to a denial of benefits, but you are much more likely to be approved if you have been undergoing consistent treatment under a physician’s care.

Often, if your medical records are not current; or if you have discontinued treatment with your physician, the Social Security Administration will require that you be examined by one of their doctors. While these doctors are not supposed to be bias, they do often face cases where patients are trying to pass themselves off as disabled, often leading to skepticism. You are better off having medical examinations and records come from your own physician.

Continuing to see a doctor could also lead to new conditions being diagnosed, which can them be used in helping to make your Social Security Disability claim. Even if your initial condition would not qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits, you may qualify for benefits based on the combined disability caused by two or more conditions.

On top of the implications for eventually being approved for Social Security Disability benefits, it’s a bad idea to stop seeing your doctor because it could potentially be bad for your health. Many conditions that qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits are progressive in nature and without treatment can be fatal.

While you’re in the process of filing a disability claim, you may have to make some sacrifices. Your lifestyle will certainly change, especially in the time between when you need to stop working and the time when your disability claim is approved. There are much better adjustments and sacrifices to be made than discontinuing medical treatment.

If you absolutely cannot afford to continue seeing your physician, there are charitable clinics available in most communities. Besides the fact that your health may depend on it, your ability to begin receiving Social Security Disability benefits in a timely manner may also depend on it.

Continuing medical treatment is more important for some disabling conditions than for others. The degree of importance continuing medical care has on your Social Security Disability claim depends largely on whether the listed treatment requirements. Until you know for certain that discontinuing care won’t have an adverse effect on your claim, it’s best to assume that it will. If you are unsure of how discontinuing treatment with your physician may affect your claim, consult a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate for a review of your case.