Social Security Disability SSI: How can you win a case if you don't have health insurance and can't get seen by a doctor ?
This really has to be one of the worst problems that claimants who are filing for social security disability and/or SSI disability benefits have to face.
The way the disability system is setup, a disability claims examiner or a disability judge will often have difficulty approving a claim for ongoing benefits if a claimant or the claimant's representative cannot produce recent medical documentation. How recent? This varies, per the adjudicator and often varies according to the types of impairments that a claimant presents with (i.e. the prognosis and outlook for some impairments is not likely to change). Generally, though, the last dated records an adjudicator examines should probably not be older than 2 or 3 months.
However, this is a problem for a sizeable percentage of individuals who are pursuing social security disability and SSI claims. And this blog excerpt expresses the frustration that disability applicants feel:
My lawyer told me it wasn't worth it, they'd go by what the judge said. Her advice was now that I live in California get new doctors who document every little symptom even better. Of course with no insurance and the only way to get into the ability to pay neuro clinics, that is proving to be nearly impossible so far.
How do you go to a doctor on a regular basis when you no longer have health insurance? In most cases, you can't. True, sometimes a physician that you have a treatment history with will continue to see you, but, more and more, doctors are turning away patients who have lost their insurance. This leaves disability claimants in the position of having to go to emergency rooms (which often provide a deplorable level of care), health departments, and free clinics (which often are very limited in their resources).
Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any easy answers out there regarding this scenario that so many disability claimants find themselves in (my own personal opinion is this: with American demographics leaning heavily toward an aging population, some form of socialized medicine is probably inevitable--obviously, laissez faire economics and the free market are not "cutting it"). But...this makes it so much more important to maximize one's chances from the beginning of the social security disability and SSI process. How do you do this? Well cover this in a following post.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
Social Security Attorneys - what you should know
The purpose of the Social Security Disability SSI medical exam
Application for social security disability
Disability for Diabetes