Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

How medical treatment can affect your SSD claim


Generally speaking, before the Social Security Administration will grant disability benefits, a claimant must show that he or she sought treatment for the condition and that treatment was ineffective. Of course, each medical condition is different, meaning that the requisite course of treatment prior to SSD benefits being awarded can vary significantly. However, knowing about this aspect of the SSD claims process is crucial, as far too many disabled individuals find their initial claim denied because they failed to satisfactorily show that they sought out appropriate treatment.

As an example of this element, this week we will look at its interplay with conditions affecting the digestive system. According to the SSA, they will assess every course of treatment an individual has received, as well as its side effects, in its determination of whether a condition is considered disabling. When looking at a course of treatment, whether it be through medication or surgery, the SAA will look at a number of factors. Amongst these factors are the frequency the ongoing treatment is required, any adverse effects suffered as a result of the treatment, how the medical condition responds to the treatment and the expected timeframe during which the treatment will provide benefits.

Sometimes even seemingly major treatments will not immediately qualify an individual for SSD benefits. For example, those who receive nutrition intravenously are still deemed capable of securing gainful employment. Those who suffer from short bowel syndrome are an exception to this rule.

Many individuals wrongly think that their medical condition alone is enough to qualify them for disability benefits. The truth of the matter is that the SSA oftentimes wants to see how a condition reacts to treatment so that it can better determine whether an individual is able to obtain and maintain employment. As this illustrates, there are many moving pieces to a Social Security disability claim. This is why many New Yorkers choose to turn to competent attorneys for assistance.

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