Each day here at Schad and Schad, PC, we are asked about why recent medical treatment matters so much in disability claims.
One of the main reasons that recent medical medical treatment is paramount in disability claims is due to the Social Security Administration's basic definition of a 'severe' impairment. A single severe impairment or a combination of severe impairments (physical or mental) must be
- expected to result in death; or
- lasted or be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
The determination of whether or not an impairment is severe is based solely on medical evidence. If this evidence is outdated, there is a general lack of persuasiveness to an individual's assertion that they are disabled.
It is possible to make a claim for benefits without recent medical evidence. We have simply found that it is better counsel to our clients to suggest that they address this discrepancy before they file for benefits. With healthcare becoming ever more available in the U.S., having some treatment is always better than having none at all!