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 ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Will a Disability attorney try to Help You get Your Medical Records for your SSD or SSI claim?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Most disability attorneys and non-attorney reps will help you get your medical records. Oftentimes, claimants donít even know what medical information is necessary to win a claim, and it is this type of legal expertise that a legal representative can and should offer clients fighting for social security disability (SSD) or SSI.
However, before hiring a legal representative, be sure to ask what the policy is concerning medical records. Some representatives require their clients to pay the cost of obtaining the records up front, and this can be hard for disability applicants, who typically have an income that has already been significantly reduced, if not eliminated altogether, due to their medical condition.
If the representative asks for money needed to obtain your medical records up front, this is not necessarily a negative reflection on his or her attitude toward clients. Rather, there are some firms who have hundreds of ongoing cases, and the cost of obtaining medical records for all of them would be prohibitive.
There are some representatives, attorneys, and law firms who will assume the cost of obtaining medical records and agree to wait to be reimbursed until after the trial. However, keep in mind that this only postpones payment--win or lose, most fee agreements between disability attorneys and their clients specify that the claimant will pay the cost of obtaining medical records regardless of if the claim is won or lost. Read your agreement carefully before signing, so that you are aware of what your financial obligations will be when the case is done.
If you absolutely do not wish to pay for the cost of getting your medical records, you can attempt to gather them yourself. Just be sure to ask your representative what he or she needs, and contact your physician regularly until either you or your attorney actually has the records in hand (some physicians take several phone calls before complying with records requests).
Remember that disability claims are won and lost based on information in your medical records, so itís important to provide the adjudicator (decision-maker) with everything needed to prove that your medical condition places physical or mental limitations on your ability to work that are severe enough to prevent you from participating in substantial gainful activity.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
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