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Requesting medical records from my doctors to possibly speed up the disability decision

Is it possible for me to get all of my medical records myself and submit them on my own without social security requesting them from my doctors themselves?

Of course. Social Security will gladly pay to get them from your doctors but if you are willing to get all of your records it may even expedite the processing of your disability claim.

How so? Because disability examiners usually receive new cases daily. The first thing they do with them is generate requests for medical records from all the medical treatment sources that you listed on your disability application. After these request letters have been generated, the case will sit for often several weeks until the records begin to arrive from doctor's offices, clinics, and hospitals.

Once the records are in, the examiner can begin to review them in order to try and make a decision. However, when a case arrives with the medical records already pre-gathered, this represents an opportunity for an examiner to get a case done quickly which is an issue because examiners are usually evaluated partly on their processing times, i.e. how quickly they move cases.

So, getting your records yourself can potentially save your case a lot of time. Perhaps weeks or months. But, there is a catch. This only works if you actually get the records that the examiner needs.

A good rule of thumb is to do the following:

1. Get records from all your places of treatment.

2. Get records going back at least as far as the time you claim that your disability began.

3. Make sure that there are some current medical records included since the examiner will need current records in order to make a decision.

Return to:  
Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Medical Evidence Used on a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim
If the examiner cannot find current medical records, they will schedule a CE
Security Disability prefers Current Medical Records for SSDI and SSI claims
You should be prepared to give information about your medical treatment sources
Process of a Disability Review Are Education or Age factors for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits?
How do you find out if a Social Security disability claim has been approved or even denied?
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
How much does Social Security Disability or SSI pay?
How does the Social Security Disability Review work?
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
More differences between Social Security Disability and SSI