SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
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?
More questions about SSD and SSI
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
What should you get from your doctor to file for disability benefits?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
You won't be required to get anything at all from your doctor when you file for disability benefits, or at any point thereafter. This is because the social security administration will do all the record and evidence gathering when your case is pending at either the disability application or reconsideration appeal level.
However, some claimants take it upon themselves to get their medical records either prior to filing for disability or shortly after filing for disability. The advantage to doing this is obvious. Disability examiners, the people who make decisions on SSD and SSI claims for the social security administration, receive their cases from social security field offices where claimants first apply. The first act that a disability examiner will typically take will be to request medical records from all the medical and mental treatment sources that are listed on a disability claim.
However, after the records have been requested, the case may simply sit and wait for weeks, and sometimes months. During this time, the disability examiner has his or her hands tied because the majority of the decision making process is based on what the medical records have to say about a claimant's condition. A claimant who gets the medical record from their various doctors, hospitals, and clinics can sometimes shave many weeks of processing time from their case.
Disability examiners who receive medical records from claimants are also often appreciative of this since it allows them to dispose of cases faster and improve their work statistics.
Applicants whose claims are pending at the disability hearing level (meaning a disability hearing has been requested and the claimant is waiting for a hearing date to be scheduled), though, are in a very different position. At the hearing level, the social security administration no longer does development of a case. Translation: SSA will no longer seek to obtain medical records even though the medical records that were previously obtained will be many months old by the time a hearing actually takes place.
At the hearing level, it is the responsbility of the claimant and/or the claimant's disability representative (who can be a social security attorney or non-attorney representative) to obtain updated medical records and submit them to the administrative law judge who has been assigned to the case.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page