- Last Updated: 08 November 2015 08 November 2015
4. Has the claimant been referred to physical therapy or a pain clinic for treatment? Has pain medication been prescribed for mild or severe pain and has the claimant received pain relief through injections into focal tender points?
This is the "exhaustion of remedies requirement."
I always counsel clients to undergo and at least try any treatment the specialist prescribes, including non-traditional treatment. Why? Because you do not want to be at a hearing before an ALJ who is wondering whether your condition would be as severe if you had followed your own doctors' instructions.
Moreover, the SSA's doctor will usually tell the ALJ that your symptoms would improve (of course, allowing you to work) if you would undergo some type of treatment. Don't give the ALJ an open door to deny your claim.
Exhausting each type of prescribed treatment is good for your health and your disability case. After doing so, your testimony will be more credible because nothing exists (including an injection!) to alleviate the severity of your symptoms. Moreover, the severity of your condition will be supported by the fact that you have tried everything to find relief.
Trying to stay within the framework provided by the Preston case should increase your odds of winning and avoid any unfortunate surprises.