The path to a successful claim for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits is long and hard, but some claimants make it harder on themselves than it has to be. All too often, disability applicants make simple, avoidable mistakes that can absolutely tank their claims.
One of the worst mistakes you can make, for example, is not following your doctor's recommended course of treatment. Here's what you need to know about how that will affect your claim.
Social Security Disability Claims Are Won or Lost on the Evidence
There's not any magic that you can do to make your claim get approved. Although the Social Security Administration denies plenty of claims unfairly and forces them into appeals, no claim is approved unless there is enough medical evidence in the file to support the decision.
If you aren't following up with your doctors and continuing to receive the treatment that they recommend, your file is going to be missing a lot of medical evidence. That doesn't give the claims examiner much to use. In fact, the examiner may well conclude that your condition isn't really that severe -- otherwise, you'd be more proactive about treatment.
Social Security Is Purposefully Restrictive About Following a Doctors' Orders
Social Security regulation SSR 18-3P provides rules for the way your claim will be decided if you aren't following your doctor's recommended course of treatment. The claims examiner is required to:
What does that mean? Essentially, if there's any possibility that your doctor's treatment could restore your ability to be gainfully employed, your SSDI claim will be denied. Furthermore, if you haven't followed your doctor's treatment plan, you have no way to prove that it won't work.
SSA Doesn't Accept Many Excuses
What does SSA consider a "good" reason to ignore your doctor's orders? It varies from person to person, but the only acceptable reasons are usually:
The smart move is always to be cooperative and compliant with your doctor's orders. You don't want to give Social Security any easy openings through which they can deny your claim.
If you have struggled to get your disability claim approved, a Social Security law firm may be able to help you.Share