If you have a medical condition that is preventing you from working, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may have a program that can help. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) helps those who've had enough work experience and earned enough money to qualify. One of the most difficult aspects of being approved for benefits is the need to prove your medical condition. To learn more about this frequently misunderstood aspect of SSDI, read on.
When Illness Strikes
As soon as you begin to have a medical issue, seek medical help. To be approved for benefits, you must show that you have been seeing a medical doctor. The SSA will verify that you have the illness you claim to have by contacting the doctor. They may ask you to submit additional proof of your medical condition. This may be a request to send in medical records and the results of diagnostic tests. In addition, the medical condition you claim to have must be at a certain level of severity. That means that you must not only suffer from it, but it must reach the level the SSA requires.
For example, if you apply for benefits because you are suffering from a heart disorder, you will need to prove that it has affected you for a certain period of time, that you have had the proper diagnostic tests (such as an electrocardiogram), and that you have been prescribed certain medications. In summation, see your doctor, follow all prescribed treatment recommendations, continue to see your doctor while you await the results of your application, and comply with all SSA requests for supporting documents.
The Consultative Medical Exam
If you have already applied for SSDI and fear you might not have included enough medical proof, you may end up having to undergo a special type of Social Security medical exam. The consultative medical exam (CME) is performed by a medical doctor who consults for the SSA and is free of charge. This exam allows the SSA to verify, update or increase the medical proof you have submitted about your condition. The CME doctor will focus on the medical disorder you listed in your application. You will be questioned about your illness, and some diagnostic tests may be performed. A report about your medical condition is submitted to the SSA, and they will then rule on your case.
Denial of Benefits
If there is one area of an SSA application and approval that causes many applicants to be denied, it is the proof of a medical condition. Instead of being upset when you are denied, just move on with the next step and apply for an appeal. While waiting for your appeal hearing, speak to disability lawyers for help in getting the benefits you need.
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