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SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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Using a disability lawyer to Help with Medical Records
An article mentioned the specific case of a claimant who was denied for disability benefits and learned later that one of her hospitals had failed to send in her medical records.
Sadly, this happens a lot when SSD and SSI cases are processed at the initial claim level and reconsideration level. But why does it happen?
Here's a short list as to why.
1. In a small percentage of cases it is true that social security will not get some of your records simply because the records were not requested. Failing to request medical records can sometimes happen as an oversight, but its really not likely to happen.
In other words, if you list a medical source on your disability application or disability appeal, the examiner will send out the request for records because failing to do so can get a disability examiner in not water with his or her unit supervisor.
Generally speaking, when records from a certain doctor or hospital have not been requested, it is because the person filing for social security disability has not provided the proper information. And that happens more than most would think. So, always remember to provide full and complete information when you submit forms to social security, especially your disability application.
2. In other cases, the person working on your disability case may have requested the records, done multiple followups (calling the medical source on the phone and asking "hey where are those records I requested two months ago"), and still not have received the records.
In cases like that, there's not much that can be done. Unfortunately, some medical providers are absolutely horrible about responding to record requests from social security. In instances like this, the examiner may have little choice but to make a decision on a disability claim minus certain records.
A failure to obtain needed medical records, however, happens less often at the disability hearing level. Why is this? It may be partially due to the fact that a disability advocate or representative (assuming one has representation) will sometimes perform many more followups on requests for records than an examiner at DDS ordinarily might.
In fact, many reps will do the equivalent of pestering a doctor's office to death until they've complied with a record request. Why? Because a disability representative (a lawyer or non-attorney advocate) does not get paid unless a case is won. And, in most cases, your chances of winning are diminished if you don't have all the records.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Getting a good disability lawyer
Social Security Disability listings and medical exams
Not taking medications can affect a Social Security Disability SSI claim
Tips, how to apply for disability
How to File for SSI
Applying for Disability - How long does it take
How much does disability pay?
How long does it take to get a disability approval letter?
How do you Apply for SSI?
Disability requirements and how to file in Florida
What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?
Appealing a Denial with a Hearing Before an ALJ (Administrative Law Judge)
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
What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Disability for a mental condition
Tips for Filing for disability
Financial Help Filing For Disability
Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
Filing a disability application: the steps
Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
What makes you eligible to get disability?
How to check my disability claim status?
Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
SSI disability Award Letter
How long to get approved for disability?
How to apply for disability benefits
How long does disability back pay take?
What are qualifications for getting disability?
What medical conditions can you file disability for?
Disability Lawyer help questions
Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives