The Need for Medical Treatment to Obtain Virginia Social Security Disability Benefits

As an Attorney who has been practicing Social Security Disability law in Virginia for over 20 years, I know it is very important that a claimant for benefits be receiving medical treatment.

A claimant for Social Security Disability benefits must make sure that they are seeing his or her doctor regularly but also that they are describing in detail to their doctors the medical problems they are having.

It is also critically important for a claimant to be treated by a medical specialist for the condition or conditions that causes him or her to be disabled and unable to work. For example, if a claimant has arthritis they need to be treated by a Rheumatologist; if they have a brain injury they should be treated by a Neurologist, and so forth. Diagnosis and treatment by an internist or primary care doctor is not sufficient in most cases to prove disability.

It is also important, of course, for the treating doctor to be supportive of his or her patient’s disability case. If a claimant has a physical disability, is under age 50 and their doctor(s) believe that they have the capacity to do sedentary work then they normally will not be able to receive their Social Security Disability Benefits.

Another important issue is whether or not a claimant suffers from a mental illness. A claimant can have the physical capacity to do heavy work but if he or she experiences significant problems with his or her ability to maintain attention and concentration, focus, follow directions, or deal with work-related stress, they may not have the capacity to do their past work or any other work at any physical level.

To be successful in getting a claimant benefits for a mental illness, a claimant must be willing to recognize that he or she has these problems and they must be willing to obtain the appropriate mental health treatment. It is very important that the claimant obtain this mental health treatment from a specialist like a Psychiatrist and not from his or her internist or primary care doctor.

For more information on Sheri Abrams, Virginia Social Security Disability & Special Needs Planning Attorney or Social Security Disability benefits please visit


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