What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
If You File For Social Security Disability How Far Back Will They Look At Your Medical Records?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Social Security likes to have a twelve-month longitudinal medical history to make their disability determinations. Additionally, Social Security may have to look at medical records that are many years in the past depending upon when an individual became unable to perform substantial gainful activity due to their disabling impairment or impairments.
Consequently, Social Security generally requests all medical records pertaining to a disability applicant even if there are more than twelve months of records.
At this juncture, it is important to mention that Social Security needs both a medical history and current medical treatment notes to make their disability determinations. Social Security considers medical records that are less than ninety days old to be current medical records. If an individual has a lot of medical records from the past, but no current medical treatment notes, they will be scheduled for a consultative examination (consultative examinations are short one-time evaluations with a physician hired by Social Security) to address the current status of their disabling condition or conditions.
It is not unusual for a disability applicant to be required to attend more than one consultative examination. For instance, if an individual alleges learning disabilities and back problems but they have no medical treatment notes, or no current medical treatment notes, it is likely that they will be scheduled for a psychological consultative examination as well as a physical consultative examination.
Social Security schedules these consultative examinations because it is imperative that an individual’s current residual functional capacity (what a person's remaining physical or mental capabilities are) be evaluated in the disability determination.
Social Security disability determinations require medical records back to the date of onset (when an individual became unable to work due to their disabling impairment or impairments) to establish that date as an individual’s true onset of disability. If there are no medical records available for that time period, a future date may have to be used as the established date of onset. This could mean that an individual may lose back disability benefits because they are unable to medically prove that they were disabled at the time they stoped working.
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Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials