Before filing a Social Security claim for a disability, you will first need to undergo a comprehensive medical exam. From there, the doctor will write a recommendation as to whether you can no longer work. While most people think the Social Security Administration has to abide by whatever the doctor says, that is not always necessarily the case.

Qualifying for Social Security benefits is a long and arduous process. There is still much you need to do. One of the most vital steps in this process involves following the doctor’s orders exactly as prescribed. Failing to do so can compromise your case, and you could lose out on essential benefits.

Reasons why the SSA can deny benefits

Your doctor may prescribe medication for you to take or recommend undergoing surgery. In some cases, the patient may forgo taking medication or scheduling the surgery. The SSA can use this refusal as evidence the individual did not sustain severe injuries and could still work. This can even go so far as to maintaining regular doctor’s appointments. It is best for people in this situation to not give the SSA any reason to deny such benefits. One simple mistake can seriously compromise a claim.

Reasons you could fail to comply

In the event the doctor suggests a course of action you do not agree with, it is possible you could still get your benefits. However, it would need to be an acceptable reason. For example, if you cannot afford a specific surgery, then the SSA would consider that. Similar explanations include the following:

  • The doctor prescribed an opioid, and you worry about developing an addiction
  • The doctor prescribed a treatment that goes against your religion
  • The doctor told you no treatment exists that would help your symptoms
  • The side effects of a given medication are worse than your current symptoms

Gather documentation of any deviation from compliance to provide along with your application or appeal.