Does Social Security Disability Pay for Physical Therapy?

After a personal injury resulting in disability, you may have the option for physical therapy either as part of your recovery or to prevent further degradation and pain caused by your disability. When selecting a Michigan-area physical therapist, you may find yourself worrying about costs incurred by regular physical therapy sessions. If you are on Social Security disability benefits, do you have the option of seeking coverage for your therapy through Social Security?

According to the SSA Program Operations Manual, the answer is yes – but with caveats. The physical therapist providing services must meet prescribed standards for qualification, including aligning with established regulations in provision of services. Certain arrangements through rural hospitals and public health agencies disqualify your physical therapy for coverage by Social Security. For the most part, these services are covered by Medicare with Medicare being considered an extension of Social Security. Because of this, there are limits on how much your benefits will cover based on what is covered by insurance and other necessary factors to consider.

As the patient, you must also be under the care of a physician for your physical therapy to be covered by Social Security disability benefits. Your physical therapy must be part of a treatment plan that is assigned and periodically reviewed by your physician. The treatment plan must be recorded in writing, signed by your physician and maintained as part of your permanent medical record with your physician or physical therapist.

This information is for reference purposes only and should not be used as legal counsel.