One of the tough things about being disabled and unable to work is no money is coming in to the home (because you are unable to work) and as such, often times, claimants cannot afford health insurance or doctor visits. A question my clients ask frequently when I remind them that medical records are the most important part of their Social Security claim is, “how can I afford to go to the doctor if I am not working?”
Fortunately, many counties have clinics for those with low-incomes, or even no-incomes. In Duval County, for example, UF Health has a program called the “City Contract,” where those with financial troubles can access health care for low to no costs, including prescriptions. Other counties have similar resources, including the Florida Department of Health, which typically has physicians on staff to address citizens’ health concerns.
However, with Social Security, if you are alleging a certain illness or condition and do not have the medical records to back your claim up, the examiner who is reviewing your claim can send you to one of the doctors that Social Security uses to perform a “consultative examination.”
Any claimant who is alleging a mental or physical impairment who has not received any or received minimal medical treatment would have to attend both physical and medical consultative examinations to determine the severity and limitation of their alleged disabling conditions. A consultative examination is not meant for you to establish care with the doctor. It is instead meant for Social Security to get an understanding of your current physical or mental health and conditions.
Unfortunately, while the consultative exams may seem good on the surface, and they are better than nothing, consultative examinations tend to be just brief examinations to get a current status of a disability claimant’s condition (or conditions) so that the disability examiner can make a decision and close the case.
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