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.
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