SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home613. Are you considered disabled if you are receiving treatment for an impairment?

If you are an adult age 18 or older and your impairment requires a prescribed treatment that is expected to restore your ability to work, you may or may not be found disabled. You may be found disabled if, despite treatment, your impairment or combination of impairments meets the severity requirement and is expected to last 12 months. You must follow treatment prescribed by your treating source if this treatment can restore your ability to work. If you do not follow this prescribed treatment without a good reason, you will not be found to be disabled. You are not considered disabled if you refuse treatment without justification. If, despite treatment, your impairment(s) remain(s) sufficiently severe, you may be found disabled.

If you are a child under the age of 18 and your impairment requires a prescribed treatment that is expected to improve your condition so that it no longer results in marked and severe functional limitations, you may or may not be found disabled. You may be found disabled if, despite treatment, your impairment or combination of impairments meets the severity requirement and is expected to last 12 months. However, the treatment must be clearly expected to restore your ability to engage in age-appropriate activities like other children your age without impairments. In addition, we do not consider you to be fully responsible for failing to follow prescribed treatment. If the person who receives SSI payments for you is not willing to assure that your prescribed treatment will be followed, we will consider finding a new person to receive your payments, or we will refer your case to an appropriate social agency for assistance.

Last Revised: Nov. 30, 2010