The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two benefit programs to disabled Americans: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, to receive benefits through either SSDI or SSI, you will need to provide the SSA with medical evidence to prove that you are disabled. The problem is that many who apply for disability benefits are already living with limited income and find it difficult to obtain the medical care they need. If you need to receive disability benefits in southern California, get the help and advice you need by speaking with an experienced Los Angeles Social Security disability attorney.
If you cannot afford to go to a doctor, but you are applying for disability benefits, first look into all of the state and local options. Check with your state’s Medicaid administrator to see if any in-state programs can help you obtain the medical care you need. Check into clinics and offices near you that cater exclusively to low-income patients. If you submit a Social Security disability application with little or no medical evidence, the SSA may require a consultative medical examination. Consultative exams are conducted by doctors contracted to work with the SSA. A consultative exam provides medical records that will help the SSA determine whether or not you qualify for disability benefits.
A consultative exam, however, may not solve your need for treatment or help you obtain benefits. The doctor examining you will have no knowledge of your medical history and may not understand the limitations that you face, even after a visit. Moreover, the consultative exam provides no treatment; it is conducted simply to provide the SSA with updated medical evidence. The doctor will not write any prescriptions or see you on a regular basis. Some consultative exams last no longer than ten minutes.
Research your other options before applying for disability benefits without medical evidence. Tell the doctor that you are applying for benefits and need a basic examination and records as part of your application. Be sure to ask about a diagnosis, a long-term outlook, and an official opinion about whether you are able to work. In southern California, an experienced Los Angeles Social Security disability attorney can direct you to proper medical resources and can help you, if you qualify, to obtain the disability benefits you need.