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
Does Social Security Disability prefer Current Medical Records for SSDI and SSI claims?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
All SSDI (Social Security disability insurance) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) disability claims go through the same medical determination process. Both current and non-current information can be helpful to an individualís disability determination. In fact, Social Security disability examiners prefer to have at least a twelve-month medical treatment history when making their medical disability determinations.
There are a couple of reasons older non-current medical records are potentially valuable to an individualís disability claim. Firstly, individuals who have an "expired" date last insured (a DLI, or date last insured, is the last point at which a person was covered, or insured, to receive social security disability benefits) need older medical records to help them establish their onset of disability prior to losing their Social Security disability insured status. Note: insured status is earned through work credits that result from an individualís work activity prior to their becoming disabled.
Once an individual loses their insured status, they will only be eligible to file for the need-based Supplemental Security Income disability program (a.k.a. SSI), whose monthly disability benefit may not be as high as their SSD, or Social Security disability, benefit may have been.
Secondly, past medical records may help an individual receive back payment for months that they may not have been entitled to they only had current medical records. For example if an individual has not worked at a level that is considered to be substantial gainful work activity for seventeen months prior to filing for disability, they may be entitled to twelve months of retroactive benefits. However the individual must have a medical treatment history that indicates that the individual was indeed disabled seventeen months ago, meaning "older medical records".
Past medical records can be helpful but are they necessary for a Social Security disability medical determination? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. Social Security disability examiners only need current medical records to make their Social Security determinations. Itís logical, considering that Social Security disability is based upon how an individual is currently functioning rather than how they were functioning.
Social Security disability examiners can even make a medical determination based solely upon a one-time consultative examination with a physician, who may not even practice in a medical specialty that addresses the disability applicantís alleged disabling condition. Additionally, these physicians are only paid to give a quick status of the limitations caused by the applicantís disabling condition rather than an in-depth evaluation of the disability claimantís condition, or conditions, and they rarely lead to an approval.
For this reason, it is better for an individualís disability claim to have current medical records from their treating physician or physicians. There is no way around the fact that an individualís own doctor is more familiar with their conditions and how their condition, or conditions, limit their ability to function, versus a consultative examination physician who has been paid by Social Security and who has never personally met them prior to the consultative examination.
Social Security likes current medical records because it helps them save on the expense of developing medical evidence; it also allows them to make quicker decisions. Although it is good for Social Security for a disability applicant to have their own current medical treatment information, it is also very good for a disability claimant's chances of winning their disability benefits.
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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