Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Can You Get Approved For Social Security Disability If You Do Not Take Medication Or Go To a Doctor?

It can be very difficult to get approved for Social Security disability if you do not take medication or go to a doctor. However, it is not impossible.

If you are filing for disability on the basis of mental retardation, memory loss, paraplegia, blindness, deafness, or some other condition that is easily addressed with objective testing, you have a better chance of being approved even without regular physician visits or being on a medication regimen. Frankly, not all disabling conditions require medication or frequent doctor visits.

More to the point, Social Security disability examiners have to have current, objective medical information, along with whatever records are supplied by a cliamant's doctors ("current" is defined as medical treatment that is no more than ninety days old) in order to make a disability determination.

If you have no current medical records, but are filing on the basis of an impairment like those listed above, Social Security can easily verify the severity of your disabling condition with a consultative examination.

A CE, or consultative exam, is an examination that is performed by an independent doctor or psychologist to provide additional documentation for a disability claim. Typically, this is done when a claimant has not received treatment for a specific condition, or has not been seen by a doctor in the last 90 days.

Consultative examinations generally do not help disability applicants win their disability benefits. However, they are very valuable when addressing impairments with obvious limitations.

On the flip side, if your disabling condition does not involve clear and evident limitations, you may have a harder time being approved with the evidence garnered through just a simple consultative examination.

In all cases, your disability case would strongly benefit from medical treatment notes supplied by a treating physician. Having current medical treatment at the time of filing a claim can definitively affect the outcome of the claim, as well as how long it takes to process the claim (having to schedule medical exams can add considerable time to a social security disability or SSI case).

And, of course, if you do have an established history of medical treatment, along with current treatment, you are more likely to have a credible diagnosis along with information about your prescribed treatment (medication, therapy, etc).

Your treating physician may also include observations about your response to treatment as well as indications as to the severity of the limitations caused by your condition. This kind of evidence is immeasurably important to the success of your disability case if it supports your allegation of disability.

A word of caution: you should always review your treating physician's notes before filing for disability. It was my experience as a former Social Security disability examiner that some treating doctors did not consider their patients to be disabled, or made other negative remarks about their patients in their notes. If your doctor’s notes contain negative information, they may hurt your disability case rather than help it.

In a nutshell, the disability examiner has to have medical treatment records that are no older than three months old to make their disability determination. If you do not take medication or go to the doctor, they will get that information from a consultative examination.

Your consultative examination report can determine if you are approved for disability, but, obviously, the information obtained from a ten minute physical exam or hour long psychological testing cannot fully substitute for solid medical record documentation from a doctor who has an established history of treating your condition or conditions.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Tips for Getting Disability Approved
How Long Will It Take To Get Approved for Disability and what determines this?
Can you be approved for disability without having to go to a hearing?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Is There A Way To Get Automatically Approved For SSI And Social Security Disability?
How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
What are the Odds or Chances of Being Approved for Disability?
How do you find out if a Social Security disability claim has been approved or even denied?
Can You Get Approved For Social Security Disability if you do not take medication or go to a doctor?
Check Amount on Social Security Disability Award Letter
What are my chances of being approved for disability benefits in North Carolina?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

How to file for disability, SSD or SSI
How to file for Disability and what medical conditions qualify
How long will it take to get disability?
What if your disability gets denied?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How to get disability with a mental condition
How long for Social Security Disability Back pay
Social Security Disability SSI eligibility