You have to prove you’re disabled. Point blank. End of story. Mo matter what you think. No matter what issues you have with the government, the process, or anything else. You have to prove you’re disabled.
The regulations make it very clear:
In general, you have to prove to us that you are blind or disabled. Therefore, you must bring to our attention everything that shows that you are blind or disabled. This means that you must furnish medical and other evidence that we can use to reach conclusions about your medical impairment(s) and, if material to the determination of whether you are disabled, its effect on your ability to work on a sustained basis. We will consider only impairment(s) you say you have or about which we receive evidence.
So, this means you have to provide medical evidence in order to support your argument that you are disabled.
Now, I can’t tell you the countless amount of times people have said:
“I don’t have insurance”
“I can’t afford the share of cost.”
“I can’t afford medical treatment.”
I have heard the statements a thousand times. I have written a post about alternatives and options for medical treatment when your resources are limited.
What’s even more important is for you to understand you must follow a doctor’s medical treatment in order to determine if your condition will improve.
The regulations regarding treatment is very direct:
In order to get benefits, you must follow treatment prescribed by your physician if this treatment can restore your ability to work.
In the past, the law allows for acceptable reasons for failing to follow prescribed treatment by a physician. One well accepted reason is based on poverty. In other words, if you can’t afford your medical treatment, in most cases, SSA will take in consideration of your poverty as reason for not getting medical treatment.
Now, we have a new development. It’s called the Affordable Healthcare Act (which is more commonly known as Obamacare). One of the many goals of Obamacare was to provide insurance to the uninsured. As a result, Obamacare offers options for those who are uninsured and unemployed.
So what does that mean for you? This means, you need to try to see if you can get health insurance through Obamacare as part of your disability process to prove you are disabled. Why?:
1) Obamacare was intended for the uninsured
I know it’s easy to say “I have no insurance” but the whole focus of Obamacare was to provide insurance for the uninsured. So imagine how you will look if you go in front of SSA and say I have no insurance and I haven’t applied for healthcare through the law that will give me insurance.
2) You probably need to provide proof you have tried to get insurance through Obamacare.
Don’t think that you can just go on the website and that’s it. There are 4 different ways to apply (Phone, paper, computer and in person). You better try.
3) You probably need to show you can’t afford even the insurance available through Obamacare.
This part may be difficult. If you qualify for even a low level of insurance but you still can’t afford it, you better be prepared to discuss in detail how that is possible.
4) Be aware of what you spend your money on when you say you can’t afford insurance.
I know this sounds wild but think about it for a minute. Play this scenario out:
Judge – “Do you have insurance?”
You – “No your honor. I can’t afford it.”
Judge – “Did you apply for Obamacare?”
You – “Yes, your honor but the best I could get was $25 per month and I can’t afford that much.”
Judge – “Do you smoke? If so, how often?”
You – “Yes, your honor. I smoke a pack a week.”
Judge – “So you can afford to smoke 4 packs of cigarettes a month but you can’t pay $25 for health insurance to go to the doctor?”
You – “uhhhhhhh”
See where I’m going?
I can’t say it enough but you bear the burden of proving you are disabled so it’s important you use every option available to you which includes Obamacare.