How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Does Social Security Disability prefer Current Medical Records for SSDI and SSI claims?

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 individual’s 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 individual’s 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 individual’s work activity prior to their becoming disabled.

Once an individual loses their insured status, they will only be eligible to file for Supplemental Security Income disability program (a.k.a. SSI), which is need-based, and 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. It’s 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 applicant’s alleged disabling condition.

Additionally, these physicians are only paid to give a quick status of the limitations caused by the applicant’s disabling condition rather than an in-depth evaluation of the disability claimant’s condition, or conditions, and they rarely lead to an approval.

For this reason, it is better for an individual’s disability claim to have current medical records from their treating physician or physicians. There is no way around the fact that an individual’s 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.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How long after court will I know anything about my disability?
How do you get your doctor to help your disability claim?
Can you get a quick disability decision?
How Far Back Does Social Security Look At Your Medical Records?
Does Social Security Disability prefer Current Medical Records?
Medical Records That Are Best For Disability Claim
Will SSD or SSI Disability Be Based On Newer Or Older Medical Records?
Medical Evidence for Social Security Disability
Why does it take so long for Social Security to get medical records?
Recent Medical Records for a Social Security Disability or SSI case
Including medical reports with the application for disability
How do medical records and work history determine a disability claim?
What if the disability examiner cannot find all the medical records?
Qualifying for disability in California
How do I apply for disability in Benefits in California
Applying for Disability in California

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.