A threshold requirement for Social Security Disability Insurance eligibility is that the applicant must have a sufficient number of work credits. The amount needed to earn one work credit changes from year to year, but as a general rule, a person will be eligible if he or she has worked five of the last 10 years before acquitting the condition or conditions leading to the claim of disability. However, many Indiana residents stop working some time before filing a claim. This places some in the position of not being able to afford to have a treating doctor.
While the regulations do not demand an applicant to provide medical records in the initial filing, the disability examiner will need medical history treatment notes among other elements before a decision can be rendered. Where no records are submitted, the Social Security Administration will order a consultative examination to provide information regarding the claimant's condition. While this provides the SSA with what the regulations require, it seldom benefits the claimant who is seeking a thorough, objective evaluation.
The primary problem with a CE is that the doctor the SSA assigns may not specialize in the medical field relevant to the claimant's condition. A second issue arises over the question of thoroughness. Any condition other than a clearly obvious disability is likely to require a more in-depth examination to fully understand its impact on the claimant.
SSDI and SSI cases are often not approved on the initial application alone. Multiple appeals are sometimes necessary before a claimant is awarded benefits. That's why an applicant who is denied benefits may want to consult with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer.