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  • Stephanie O. Joy, Esq.

Non-Compliance with Medical Advice - Detracting from your own SSD claim

Updated: Jan 1

Tidbits of Treasures from Around the SSD Water Fountain - Don't Sink Your Ship Unnecessarily #2: Non-Compliance with Medical Advice


Things that can sink your SSD claim… ignoring or refusing medical advice (at least some forms of advice).


Your doctor has suggested Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy. Or wrist braces. Or compression stockings. You, in all your wisdom, don't believe it will help. And you know it is therefore a gross inconvenience. End of story, or so you think. (Well, not so fast - although it could be the quick end to your claim's growth in strength.) So, you "decline" the recommended medical advice. Regardless of whether PT or OT (or other conservative treatment that is non-invasive) will in the end, cure you, or even help you, or not, your refusal may be perceived as a claimant perpetuating his own disability; or, a claimant whose pain levels are far less severe than he asserted in his claim, because the theory goes that if it were, you'd be trying anything within reason, to feel better and function better.


So, if you plan on disregarding your Medical Provider's advice, you best have a better reason AND, make sure your provider documents your reason in the record (vs. merely saying, "patient refusing medical advice" without explanation). If you have an appointed representative before the SSA with your claim, you best share to her every time you do not follow medical advice, so damage control, if applicable, may be pursued. To not do so is to assist yourself in the fatality of your SSD/SSI case. Most claimants have very valid reasons for not accepting and following a suggestion of their doctor - so providing a clear explanation of that reason is critical.

For SSD/SSI representation consideration, please fill out our free Attorney Evaluation form. We do not charge a retainer to serve you. If, on the other hand, you seek an attorney level consultation/analysis of a particular situation, whether you are a company, publisher or individual, to learn information beyond that information you may obtain for free from the SSA itself, and you do not otherwise have a lawyer representing you before the SSA, you may order a scheduled consultation at affordable attorney rates. Contact the office at 201-317-0610 or email stephaniejoy@joydisability.com.

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Stephanie O. Joy
SSDI/SSI Attorney
2021

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