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

When someone files for disability how many years of medical records do they need?

The simple answer to this question is that you do not have to have any medical records to file for SSDI or SSI. However, there is no denying that medical records can help you substantiate the limitations and severity of your disabling condition.

Let’s address the procedure for making a medical disability determination if you do not have any medical records or your medical records are very old. Social Security has to have current (no more than ninety days old) medical records to make their disability determination, so they will send you to a consultative medical/psychiatrist/or psychological exam.

Related: How Far Back Will Social Security Disability Look At Your Medical Records?

The consultative examination will be a short examination strictly designed to give the disability specialist a current status of your disabling condition. These examinations are not meant to be medical treatment but valuable testing may be requested along with these examinations.

While it has been my experience that consultative examinations lead to very few disability approvals, there are cases won on the basis of a consultative examination.

I should mention that you might have to attend a consultative examination even if you have current and past medical treatment. There are times when medical records need more clarification or perhaps an additional test is needed to make the disability determination.

If you have a medical treatment history, the disability specialist will try to get medical records for any source you provided on your disability application.

Social Security Disability specialists prefer a medical treatment history of at least twelve months to make their medical determination. The advantage of having a good history of medical treatment for your disabling condition is that your doctor can provide your diagnosis, prognosis, medical treatment, response to medical treatment, medications, and their opinion with regard to your limitations and your ability to work considering these limitations. If the objective medical evidence supports your doctor’s opinion, it can go long way toward being approved for disability.

The important thing to remember is that while medical records are important, you should not let the fact that you do not have any medical records, very old medical records, or very little medical records stop you from filing an application for disability if your medical or mental condition prevents you from being able to work.

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Can you win disability without enough credits?

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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.