While most people know that their medical records are important for their Social Security disability claim, many people do not understand that medical evidence is often considered the most important type of evidence in their case. The Social Security Administration (“Social Security) cannot rely on your word alone to find you disabled. Instead, Social Security requires medical evidence to establish several aspects of your claim, including what conditions you have, how severe your conditions are, and how your conditions impact your ability to work. The treatment records from your office visits, hospitalizations, physical therapy, counseling, surgeries, etc., are crucial pieces of evidence that Social Security uses to determine whether you are disabled.
If you do not go to the doctor, Social Security may not have the evidence it needs to find that your medical conditions are disabling. Similarly, if you frequently miss appointments, you will have less evidence to support your disability and run the risk that Social Security will consider your sporadic treatment as evidence that your conditions are not as severe as you describe them. Because so much of your case will be based on the medical evidence in your file, it is important that you continue seeing your doctors regularly, even if you feel treatment has not helped much in the past.
If you lose health insurance while waiting for Social Security to make a decision on your claim, you can apply for Medicaid at https://medicaid.ohio.gov/ and/or a private health plan through the marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov.
If you are missing appointments or stopped treatment because you do not have access to transportation, contact your health insurance provider to see if non-emergency medical transportation is available through your insurance plan. If non-emergency medical transportation is not available, contact your doctor(s) or social worker (if applicable), to find out if there are other free or low-cost transportation resources available in your area.