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To be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI), there are certain conditions you must meet. While many disabilities are recognized under SSDI, you must prove that you have a long-term condition expected to last for at least 12 months (or that will eventually be fatal) and that the disability directly prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. In addition to this, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must also see that you have obtained treatment to improve your current conditions.
For certain cases, this distinct requirement may mean enlisting the help of a registered physical therapist. In doing so, this shows the SSA that you are actively seeking to help your condition, and in turn it also gives the SSA more information about your condition that comes from a medical professional. Here are some of the key factors that physical therapy can do in helping your SSDI claim.
Attending physical therapy will help to document your medical condition and its impact on your ability to function through daily life and work. Your physical therapist will also be able to provide detailed information describing the implications of your condition, all of which can be valuable to supporting your claim. This is especially important for disabilities that may not yet have reached the 12-month minimum. If a medical professional can provide the prognosis on how long your condition will be expected to last, this will provide SSA with insight into whether or not your condition meets the duration requirements.
The SSA, more often than not, will require objective medical evidence to support your disability claim. Physical therapy is a great form of evidence for this, and can document the progress and pain you have experienced in addition to the claim you make on your own account. This helps in establishing many of the requirements the SSA has laid out for SSDI benefits.
Physical therapists can perform functional assessments that measure your ability to perform everyday tasks and work-related activities. These assessments can provide a clearer picture of your functional limitations and their impact on your ability to work.
Overall, physical therapy really helps in supporting the evidence behind your claim, and you may even find that it helps your current condition. Regardless of the initial outcome in attending physical therapy, it is important to understand that attending alone is not a guarantee you will be approved for SSDI benefits. All claims evaluated by the SSA are on a case-by-case basis, and there are plenty of factors that go into their decision-making process.
What we can say is that going to physical therapy will not hurt you, as we found there are usually two outcomes that come from it: the physical therapy is able to help your current condition, or the physical therapist is able to vouch for the severity of your condition.
The last bit of advice we can share on this topic is to consult with an experienced disability benefits attorney when navigating the difficult SSDI application process. We know what the SSA is really looking for and can assemble those materials, ensuring your claim is presented effectively.
If you need help filling out your SSDI application or appeal, the compassionate team at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, is here to assist you. Give us a call today – it will not cost you anything to see if we can help.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law