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 — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Recent Medical Records for a Social Security Disability or SSI case
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
In order for a disability examiner to make a decision on a disability claim, the examiner will need to have recent medical evidence in the file. Recent evidence is defined as medical records that are not older than 90 days.
Why does social security need "recent medical evidence"? SSA actually needs newer AND older medical records. Older records can help establish how far back a person's disability goes, and this can have an immediate effect on the claimant's eligibility for back pay. Older records are also needed to establish that an applicant's disability began while they were still insured for title 2 benefits, which are SSDI, or social security disability insurance benefits (note: SSI benefits, as opposed to SSDI benefits, do not rely on insured status because SSI is based completely on need).
For those who are unaware, one's eligibility to receive social security disability benefits begins with the fact that they are insured for such benefits as a result of work credits that are earned through their years of work activity. Once a person stops working--such as due to a disability--they will eventually get to a point at which they are no longer insured under the SSDI program.
The best way to conceptualize this may be to think of it as being similar to car insurance and the fica taxes that are taken out of a paycheck (which pay for both social security and medicare) as being analogous to the payment of the premiums. Once a person stops working and receiving a paycheck, the "premium" is no longer sent in and the policy only has a certain amount of time before it lapses. Fortunately for indivduals filing for SSDI, it can take years for SSDI coverage to lapse.
Newer, or recent, records, however, are needed for an entirely different reason. And that reason is this: for the social security administration to award disability benefits, it must be clear that the individual is disabled now, as of the time that the claim is being decided. And only recent medical record documentation can reliably prove that.
This, of course, is exactly why it is necessary for the social security administration to obtain recent medical records when a person's disability case is being decided. And, likewise, this is why it is important for a person who is filing for disability to keep going to their doctor regularly if they wish to qualify for disability benefits.
Note: If the social security administration cannot obtain recent medical records, the applicant will mostly likely be scheduled to go to a social security medical examination, otherwise known as a CE, or consultative exam.
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Topics and Questions
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